Bahrain crackdown: 15 years jail for protesters, police acquitted

Published June 3rd, 2014 - 07:01 GMT

A Bahraini court has sentenced a group of 21 anti-regime protesters to 15 years in jail each amid the ongoing harsh crackdown on the country’s dissent.

Bahrain’s largest opposition party al-Wefaq said in a statement on Tuesday that the defendants were subjected to torture during their detention and interrogation sessions.

Scores of Bahraini political activists have already been placed behind bars for organizing or taking part in anti-regime demonstrations across the oil-rich monarchy due to its appalling human rights record.

Moreover, the lengthy prison sentences come in conjunction with acquittals of the police officers and troops, who killed protesters in the brutal crackdown on peaceful protests in February 14, 2011.

Bahrain has been witnessing a popular uprising since February 2011. The protesters are calling for the downfall of the ruling Al-Khalifa regime.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the ruling 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 government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Over the past years, Bahrain’s human rights record has come under scrutiny over its handling of the anti-regime demonstrations across the country.

Amnesty International as well as Human Rights Watch (HRW) has repeatedly urged the Bahraini regime to free protesters and other activists.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the Manama regime’s ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

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