Bahraini regime sentences Shias to long jail terms

Bahraini regime sentences Shias to long jail terms
Sun Sep 29, 2013 15:28:10

The ruling Al Khalifa regime in Bahrain has sentenced 50 followers of Islam’s Shia faith to jail terms of up to 15 years, according to sources in the country’s judiciary.

The sentences were handed down on Sunday by a Bahraini court, which charged the accused defendants, including Iraqi cleric Hadi al-Mudaressi, with organizing the ‘February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition.’

Al-Mudaressi, however, was sentenced in absentia.

Bahraini authorities accuse the anti-regime group of involvement in “terrorism.”

The court sentenced 16 defendants to 15 years in jail, four others to ten years and the other 30 to five years.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the US-backed Al Khalifa regime to relinquish power.

Manama’s human rights record has come under scrutiny over its handling of anti-regime protests that erupted across the Arab country in early 2011.

According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested since March 2011.

Physicians for Human Rights say doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

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