Life sentences for Bahraini rights activists



Eight jailed for life, thirteen given lesser sentences

Eight Bahraini rights activists have been jailed for life having being found guilty of plotting a coup against the government during the two months of unrest that flustered the country earlier this year.

As the government attempts to crush rebellion, an additional 13 demonstarators were sentenced to between two and fifteen years in prison.  The country has been in turmoil since February, following the trend for uprisings that have taken place in other Arab countries.

People in the public gallery chanted “solidarity, solidarity, we shall overthrow the regime” as the verdicts were read out in military court this morning.

Shia Muslims feel disenfranchised despite making most of the population

Ibrahim Sharif was of those doled a lesser sentence.  He was accused of having links to “a foreign country”, an indirect reference to Iran.

The trials were held in spite of the government declaring an end to three months of marital law earlier in the year, which had given elite Sunni security forces supplementary powers of arrest and detention.

Rights groups who immediately condemned the verdicts complained that all those found guilty had been campaigning to end discrimination at the hands of the Sunni rule.  Nearly all the activists who took to the streets of Manama in February were Shia Muslims.  Despite making up 70% of the country’s population, they feel largely subjugated.

Among those sentenced for life were chief members of resistance political groups.

Bahrain’s ruling dynasty said all the men sentenced were part of a “sedition ring”, backed by Hezbollah and Iran, who were trying to overthrow the regime.

Revolt will continue against the government

Activists have necessitated a need for protestors to take to the streets again in Manama this Wednesday, in confrontation of the governments and the verdicts.  The government has given its word to persist with the crackdown on rebellion.

As much as 30 doctors and nurses from major city hospitals were last week put on trial, accused of either subversion or for using government facilities for political purposes.


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