A Bahraini court on Thursday sentenced five Shias to life in prison. Their Bahraini citizenship was revoked after being convicted for "spying for and seeking with Iran and its agents to carry out hostile acts against the kingdom," reported AFP.
The verdict emerges amid rising tensions between Bahrain and Iran. In early October, Manama recalled its ambassador to Iran and expelled Tehran’s envoy, claiming interference in its affairs.
And yesterday, Bahrain claimed it had uncovered a "terrorist organization" linked to Iran after storming the homes of anti-government protestors in different parts of the capital. 47 members of the alleged organization were arrested.
The five defendants were found guilty of cooperating with Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard to launch attacks against Bahrain’s public facilities and banks.
According to the charges, two of the five had been trained in Iran on "the manufacture and use of explosives and firearms in preparation for carrying out these hostile attacks.”
Three of the convicted are being sentenced while absent from court, while the other two defendants, present on Thursday, claimed that they were forced to confess "under torture," a judicial source informed AFP.
A foreign ministry official in Iran has responded by rejecting the accusations against Tehran as “baseless.”
Since 2011 a pro-democracy uprising started the unrest in Bahrain. Shia-majority Bahrain frequently accuses predominantly Shia Iran of interfering in its affairs.
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