A court in Bahrain has sentenced ten anti-regime protesters to life imprisonment and revoked their citizenship as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
On Tuesday, the High Criminal Court found the defendants guilty of “organizing and managing a terrorist group, possessing explosives and tools used in making firearms, and training in the use of weapons and explosives for terrorist purposes in the kingdom.”
The court also additionally sentenced one of the convicts to one month in jail, and a fine of 100 dinars ($265.10) for illegally possessing a sword.
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.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.