Bahrain: Three given life sentences for allegedly plotting police attack
Bahrain riot police stand guard during clashes with protesters following a demonstration against the execution of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities, in the village of Daih, west of the capital Manama on January 4, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed al-Sheikh)
Bahrain has handed down life imprisonment sentences to three more anti-government activists for involvement in alleged plots to attack police forces.
Ahmad al-Hammadi, Bahrain's terror crime prosecution chief, said on Thursday that the three convicts were sentenced to life for attempted murder of police officers in 2014.
The official said Bahrain’s High Criminal Court convicted the three of involvement in "terrorism activities" by setting up explosives on the path of a police convoy in December 2014 in al-Dayr district of the city of al-Muharraq, which is located northeast of the capital Manama.
The court also said the convicts had lured the police officers to the place where the bombs were planted, citing witness accounts as its main evidence.
The sentences are the latest in a series of harsh punishments handed down to the dissidents in Bahrain, a tiny Persian Gulf island nation which has seen more than four years of anti-regime protests.
The same court last week slapped a death sentence on one activist and life imprisonment to 22 others for their alleged role in the death of a policeman last year.
Earlier this month, five people received life imprisonment over similar charges. The court has also sentenced 29 people to jail terms ranging from five years to life imprisonment over their alleged involvement in a bomb attack last year. Another man has been sentenced to life in prison over attempting to kill a police officer.
The Bahrain judiciary has come under fire by human rights groups for handing down long-term sentences to the opposition. Amnesty International has repeatedly censured the Bahrain regime over the “rampant” human rights abuses against protesters.
Recent reports also suggest a surge in the Manama’s use of arbitrary detentions, which came after the Bahrain parliament approved amendments to the country's controversial anti-terrorism law.
Bahrain Center for Human Rights said on Wednesday that a total of 1,883 people, including 237 children and 34 women, were detained in 2015. Later on, 864 were later released.
But in total, more than 3,000 prisoners remain in arbitrary detention in Bahrain, the BCHR said in its annual report.
Since March 2011 and concurrent with uprisings in other Arab countries, Bahrainis began to take to the streets to demand a change in the political system. The regime in Manama responded with a heavy crackdown by killing dozens and arresting hundreds of people, including notable opposition leaders.
- Bahrain sentences 23 people for alleged attacks, protests against government
- Bahrain jails four people for allegedly plotting weapons smuggling, attacks
- Jordan prosecutes 21 over alleged ‘terror plots’
- British teen receives life sentence for Daesh-inspired terror plot
- Fourteen protesters given jail sentences in Bahrain