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Bahrain court hands down lengthy jail sentences to six more activists 

This file picture shows the entrance of the building of Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in the capital Manama.

A court in Bahrain has sentenced six more activists to up to 10 years in prison over their alleged role in exploding a gas cylinder last year.

Judicial sources said on Thursday that three people were sentenced to 10 years in jail while three others received prison terms of three years. The court also fined the six suspects 500,000 dinars each.

The High Criminal Court issued the rulings after convicting them of allegedly carrying out the gas explosion in front of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in early 2017 and taking part in an unlawful assembly and rioting. 

In recent months, Bahrain has executed several young activists by firing squad after handing them death sentences.

On Wednesday, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemned the kingdom’s persistence on passing death sentences against anti-regime activists, calling the practice an “inhuman punishment”. 

The center further noted that the Bahraini judiciary has overused death penalty in recent years, particularly with regards to freedom of opinion and expression in addition to the exercise of political rights.

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.

Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.

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 regime 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 the crackdown. 

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the crackdown.

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