Courts in Bahrain have handed down prison sentences to at least 12 anti-regime protesters as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy activists in the kingdom.
Bahrain’s Fourth High Criminal Court sentenced three of the defendants to five years in jail, while four others received three years in prison, Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.
The court found the anti-regime activists guilty of “assaulting police officers, setting fire to a police patrol car and illegal gathering” in the small village of Abu Quwah.
They were also ordered to pay a fine of 378 dinars ($1,000) for the damage of the police patrol car owned by the Ministry of the Interior.
The same court also upheld a three-year prison sentence against a political dissident on alleged charges of making a fake bomb threat in Tubli village.
Separately, Bahrain’s Supreme Criminal Court sentenced two defendants to three years in prison after convicting them of insulting and attacking a policeman and a lieutenant at Dry Dock detention center. Two others got a month in jail each.
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 dynasty 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.
source: press tv