Bahrain courts hand down more lengthy jail terms to anti-regime protesters

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) said Saturday that regime courts have handed down more lengthy jail terms to people involved in protests against the ruling Al Khalifah family.

In a weekly summary of court rulings, the BCHR said 38 people, including three children, have been sentenced to a total of 231 years in prison only in a matter of a week.

The report said courts have also extended jail terms for 83 people while eight people have also been arrested by security forces in recent weeks.

The BCHR said massive searches and raids have been carried out on 14 houses across the country while three notable anti-regime protesters remain missing. Security forces also attacked 11 peaceful gatherings of people in the capital, Manama, and elsewhere, the report said.

Five years after massive protests erupted for reform in Bahrain, the country is still the scene of demonstrations with calls rising on the Al Khalifah to relinquish power. More than a hundred people have been killed while hundreds more, including notable opposition figures, remain behind bars in what human rights campaigners say is Manama’s lack of tolerance for dissent.

A major pro-opposition website said Saturday that Bahrain’s court of cassation has reportedly endorsed death sentences for 10 people who were convicted of committing manslaughter against regime forces.

The Bahrain Mirror said Manama’s criminal court handed down 10-year jail terms to 12 anti-government protesters for their involvement in unauthorized demonstrations.

Other verdicts include seven-year prison sentences for six citizens for their assassination attempt on a police officer in Sitra, south of Manama.

Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime’s intensifying crackdown on dissent, accusing Manama of committing rampant human rights abuses against opposition activists and anti-regime protesters. The crackdown has hardly evoked criticism from Western governments, especially from the United States, which has its Fifth Navy Fleet deployed on the tiny island.


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