Bahrain court upholds two death sentences in bombing case

Bahrain court upholds two death sentences in bombing case
A Bahraini appeals court on Monday upheld death sentences for two bombers who killed a police officer, while 12 were imprisoned in a separate case on Sunday
3 min read
16 November, 2015
Bahrain's Shia population has been gripped by unrest [Getty]

Bahrain's top court on Monday upheld the death sentences of two Shia convicted of planting a bomb that killed a police officer last year, prosecutors said.

The two were part of a group of 12 people tried over a 14 February 2014 bomb attack in Dair Shia village that killed police officer Abdulwahid Sayid Mohammed Faqeer and wounded several others, the prosecution said in a statement.

"Two of the defendants were found guilty of planting and detonating the explosive device, with 10 others convicted of obtaining and manufacturing explosive devices with the intent to use them in terrorist attacks," said the statement.

The two were part of a group tried over 2014 bomb attack that killed a police officer and wounded several others

The court "upheld the Higher Criminal Court's and the Court of Appeal's decisions to sentence two of the individuals to death, in light of the calculated and carefully planned manner in which Abdulwahid Sayid Mohammed Faqeer was murdered", Advocate-General Nayif Yousif said in the statement.

It also upheld prison sentences handed down to the others, he added.

Six of the defendants, including those facing execution, are in custody, while the other six remain at large, according to defence lawyers, who claimed that confessions had been obtained under duress.

Death sentences need to be ratified by the king to be carried out, according to the penal code of Bahrain.

Stripped of nationality

Meanwhile, a Bahraini court on Sunday jailed 12 Shia residents for life and stripped them of their citizenship after convicting them of bomb attacks against police in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, a judicial source said.

The defendants were behind six bombings that targeted police patrols between 2013 and 2014, the source said, citing the verdict.

The group had been charged with "attempting to kill policemen... bombings, (and) possessing explosives to terrorise people and endanger lives".

Their acts were "serving a terrorist objective", said prosecutors.

An Indian and a Bangladeshi citizen were also jailed for one year, and ordered to be deported after serving their sentences, for forging the registrations of mobile phones used in detonating the bombs.

The two were not aware that the phones would be used for bombings, prosecutors said.

Bahrain in 2013 passed a law allowing for those convicted of "terrorist" crimes to be stripped of their nationality.

The country's main Shia opposition group, al-Wefaq, said recently that at least 187 people had lost their citizenship under the law.

The Gulf country, home to the US Fifth Fleet, has witnessed unrest since the repression of a protest movement launched in 2011 by members of the Shia majority demanding political reforms.

Scores of Shia have been rounded up, tried and sentenced to prison following the uprising, but protesters still frequently clash with security forces in Shia-majority villages around Manama.