Bahrain sentences five men to 15 years in prison, but rights group says confession given under torture
Bahrain has sentenced five men to 15 years in prison each for homemade bomb attacks in 2012, according to Reuters.
Bahrain's state news agency said that the men "had admitted to being behind the bombings," but activists who have been monitoring the trial said the defendants pleaded not guilty to the attacks that destroyed several empty cars, and two of the defendants were tried in absentia.
According to one activist, Mohammed Al Maskati, the head of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, the men were tortured in order to provide confessions. The authorities have not responded to Maskati's comment.
Previous UN reports have documented similar instances of Bahrain conducting confessions under torture.
Bahrain's oppression of its Shiite majority and violent crackdowns on opposition protests since 2011 have largely been ignored by Western powers, who consider the tiny Gulf country's Sunni leadership a critical ally in the region.
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- Bahrain: Group of Shiite opposition activists sentenced to jail terms
- Bahraini court sentences 14 demonstrators for 15 years
- Saudi Arabian Shiite sentenced to 30 years in prison for protest participation