A Bahrain court has sentenced more than a hundred Shia citizens to jail and revoked their nationality as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on the Shia majority in the Gulf kingdom.
Acting Head of Terror Crime Prosecution, Chief Prosecutor Hamad Shaheen, said on Tuesday that the Supreme Criminal Court found 115 Shia defendants guilty of forming of a “terrorist group” called Thulfiqar Battalions, possession of explosive devices and flammable materials, training in the use of munitions, attempted murder of police officers and communication with a foreign state.
Fifty-three defendants received life imprisonment, three were sentenced to 15 years behind bars and fifteen others got seven years in prison.
The rest of the defendants were sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to five years.
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.
However, the island’s Shia majority accused the government of treating them like second-class citizens. They joined pro-democracy activists in demanding more political freedoms in 2011, as Islamic Awakening protests swept the wider Middle East. Saudi and Emirati troops ultimately helped violently put down the peaceful demonstrations.