Four jailed in Bahrain over clashes with police

Four jailed in Bahrain over clashes with police
Four Bahrainis on Thursday faced up to 15 years imprisonment for alleged violence against police during protests, while a US citizen was freed by a royal pardon.
2 min read
21 April, 2016
Bahrain was shaken by a Shia-led uprising demanding reforms [Anadolu]
A Bahrain court on Thursday sentenced four men to between one and 15 years in prison for violence against police and possessing weapons for "terrorist aims," the prosecution said.

One defendant was jailed for 15 years and another for five years, while two others were sentenced to one year in prison each, the prosecution said in a statement carried by BNA state news agency.

The four faced charges including "resisting police, possessing fire arms and ammunition for terrorist aims, attacking others and threatening to use fire arms," the statement said.

The case goes back to March last year, it said.

Bahrain has been shaken by unrest since it quelled a month-long Shia-led uprising demanding reforms which erupted on February 14, 2011.

The tiny but strategically important kingdom is connected to regional Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia by a causeway.

It lies across the Gulf from Shia Iran and is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

Despite the crackdown on the 2011 uprising, protesters continue to come out in Shia villages outside the capital Manama, which at times escalate to clashes with police.

Around 20 people were given jail terms of varying lengths last month in cases involving attacks on police and a bus, as well as a "terrorist" plot.

One protester who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2013 was released by a royal pardon on Thursday.

Tagi al-Maidan, a US citizen whose mother is Bahraini and father is Saudi was charged with attempted murder during a protest.

Maidan denies the charges and claims he was forced to make a false confession under torture.

Maidan was released on the day US President Barack Obama held talks with Gulf leaders in the Saudi capital Riyadh, including Bahraini King Hamad bin Isla Al Khalifa.