Bahrain: Group of Shiite opposition activists sentenced to jail terms
A Bahraini court on Sunday sentenced a group of Shiite opposition activists to jail terms over clashes with police last year. Eleven defendants were sentenced to between one and seven years behind bars, while four were acquitted because of a lack of evidence at the high-security hearing in the capital Manama, a judicial source said.
Defence lawyers said they planned to appeal, reported AFP.
The 15 went on trial over clashes between police and protesters in Shiite-populated areas in December 2007 following the death of a demonstrator at an opposition rally to demand compensation for victims of alleged human rights violations. They were charged with unlawful assembly, stealing weapons, burning a police vehicle and committing other acts of violence against police.
During the trial, the defendants, rights groups and Bahraini opposition activists claimed that the accused had been tortured to extract confessions but the allegations were rejected by Bahraini officials.