Eight Bahraini activists sentenced to life in prison
Bahrain was engulfed in mass protests in 2011 (photo courtesy: theguardian.com)
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A Bahraini court has sentenced eight pro-democracy activists to life in prison, as the Al Khalifa regime steps up its crackdown on dissent.
The court issued the verdicts on Sunday after convicting the defendants of allegedly killing a policeman and participating in anti-regime protests in the northern village of Dair in August 2013.
The eight, however, said they had made the confessions under torture.
The incident marks the latest in a series of harsh sentences handed down to protesters in the Gulf state.
On April 22, twelve anti-regime protesters received life sentences for taking part in an unauthorized demonstration in the country.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini regime in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Physicians for Human Rights say doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
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