Bahraini court hands down death sentence to activist, life terms to over dozen dissidents

An appellate court in Bahrain has sentenced an anti-regime activist to death and passed life imprisonment against more than a dozen other political dissidents as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on pro-democracy protesters in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

The Supreme Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the death penalty for a Bahraini national and sentenced 13 other activists to life in prison, the Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.

It added that the court had also given 15 years of imprisonment to eight other dissidents, five years to another two and three years to two others.

Furthermore, the court stripped 25 other activists of their Bahraini citizenship.

Manama has accused all the defendants of launching an alleged bomb attack in the area of Abu Saiba, which resulted in the death of a security officer and the injury of a number of others, the report further said, describing the whole case as politically-motivated.

The report also said that the rulings were based on the investigations conducted by security forces and confessions obtained under “torture.”

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

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