Bahrainis protest Saudi ruling upholding death sentences against young detainees

The drawing portrait shows Sadiq Thamer (L) and Jaafar Sultan, two Bahraini youths arrested and charged by Saudi authorities in 2015. (Photo via al-Wefaq’s Twitter account)

Bahraini demonstrators have staged a rally in protest at a Saudi court ruling that upheld the death sentences against two Bahraini youths arrested by regime forces in Riyadh in 2015.

Bahrain's main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, announced on its Twitter account on Tuesday that the rally was held in the western village of Dar Kulaib after the Saudi Court of Appeals upheld the death sentences against Sadiq Thamer and Jaafar Sultan.

The two Bahraini citizens from Dar Kulaib were arrested on May 8, 2015, after Saudi authorities accused them of planning to detonate the King Fahd Causeway, a bridge that links Saudi Arabia to Bahrain.

Sultan and Thamer have repeatedly denied the charges against them, saying they are politically motivated.

The al-Wefaq National Islamic Society also said a similar protest against the Saudi court ruling was held in the village of Sanabis on the outskirts of the Bahraini capital, Manama.

The defendants have a chance to appeal the new ruling in the Saudi Supreme Court within a time limit of no more than a month.

Executions are carried out only with the approval of the Saudi king after the Supreme Court upholds a verdict.

Human rights organizations said Saudi security forces tortured the two Bahrainis to extract confessions from them while in custody. 

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011. The participants demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

The ruling Al Khalifah regime, however, has forged ahead with its brutal clampdown on political dissent in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

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