Bahraini courts have upheld death sentences against two anti-regime activists and revoked the citizenship of six others as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy activists in the kingdom.
On Monday, the courts found Mohammed Ibrahim Tawq and Muhammad Rada Abdullah guilty of trumped-up terrorism charges, and sentenced them to death. Six other political dissidents were stripped of their nationality as well, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
Former lawmaker Sheikh Hassan Issa was also handed down a 10-year jail term.
On March 29, 2017, a Bahrain court had sentenced Sheikh Issa to 10 years in prison.
The imprisoned Shia Muslim cleric was charged with funding a “terrorist group” that allegedly carried out a blast in the island of Sitra, located about 12 kilometers southeast of the capital, Manama. Two policemen were killed and 66 others injured in the purported attack.
Bahraini courts also sentenced 15 anti-regime activists to prison terms ranging from six to ten years.
Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General of Bahrain’s dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Sheikh Hussain al-Daihi, said such rulings reflect the depth and extent of the ongoing political crisis in Bahrain, the collapse of confidence and the absence of the basic principles of understanding between the ruling Manama regime and the Bahraini nation.
He added that the verdicts issued daily in the most terrible forms of injustice have failed to stop peaceful demonstrations, sit-ins and protest rallies in the kingdom.
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 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 King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.