A Bahrain court has sentenced more than a hundred citizens to jail and revoked their nationality as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on the majority community in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
Acting Head of Terror Crime Prosecution, Chief Prosecutor Hamad Shaheen, said on Tuesday that the Supreme Criminal Court found 115 Shia defendants guilty of forming of a “terrorist group” called Zulfiqar Battalions, possession of explosive devices and flammable materials, training in the use of munitions, attempted murder of police officers and communication with a foreign state.
Fifty-three defendants received life imprisonment, three were sentenced to 15 years behind bars and fifteen others got seven years in prison.
The rest of the defendants were sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to five years.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.
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