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Bahrain

US Scolds Bahrain for Execution of 3 Activists

The executions have ignited major demonstrations and rekindled tensions between the protesters and rulers of the Persian Gulf kingdom, which have concerned Washington since a crackdown on an uprising in 2011.

The kingdom is a strategic ally of the US and home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Bahrain’s High Court last week upheld the death sentences against the trio for their alleged role in a bomb attack in March 2014.

“We’re concerned that these executions occurred at a time of elevated tension in Bahrain,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Violent attacks against the police… are reprehensible, of course, and deserve condemnation.”

“We’ve also seen allegations that the individuals facing execution were victims of torture, and that the evidence used against them in court was extracted, in part, through coerced confessions.”

Bahrain, which has been ruled by the Al-Khalifa dynasty for more than two centuries, has given a heavy-handed security response to peaceful popular protests, which first began in early 2011.

“We continue to call on the Government of Bahrain to return urgently to the path of reconciliation, and to work collectively to address the aspirations of all Bahrainis,” Kirby said, AFP reported.

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