Eight Bahrainis sentenced to life for 'terrorism' offences

Eight Bahrainis sentenced to life for 'terrorism' offences
2 min read
28 April, 2016
A Bahraini court sentenced eight people to life in jail for 'terrorism' offences, including possession of weapons and violence against police, state prosecutors announced on Wednesday.
Five years since Bahrain's uprising, demonstrators still take to the streets clashing with police [AFP]

Eight Bahrainis were sentenced to life imprisonment after a court convicted them of "terrorism" and violence against police.

The eight accused were tried in two seperate cases on Wednesday, with three found guilty in one case for causing an explosion in the Shia village of Shakhour last January.

The blast wounded a policeman and caused damaged to police vehicles, state news agency BNA reported.

The accused were also convicted of "possession" of explosives, the state agency added.

The remaining five sentenced to life imprisonment were convicted for "imposing and possessing explosives for terrorist aims," according to state prosecutors.

The convictions follow those passed down last week sentencing four men for violence against the police and possession of weapons.

Earlier this month a wide-ranging declaration issued by the Bahraini government labelled 68 Bahraini and foreign organisations as "terror groups."

Included were the February 14 Coalition, the al-Asthar Brigades and Resistance Brigades, which are believed to be Bahraini Shia majority groups allegedly involved in anti-government protests.

Reports of attacks against police officers continued to come since unrest shook the island kingdom in 2011.

Human rights activists and organisations have accused the Bahraini security services of arbitrary detentions and excessive use of force against protestors.

Earlier this month, Amnesty urged Bahraini authorities to "immediately and unconditionally" release jailed opposition figures.

"The alarming erosion of human rights in Bahrain in recent years means that anyone who dares to criticise the authorities or call for reform risks severe punishment," said Amnesty's regional deputy director James Lynch.

Five years after Bahrain's revolution, demonstrators still take to the streets and clash with police in Shia towns surrounding Manama, but are met with a heavy-handed government response.