The reflection of Bahraini Shiite Muslim protestors, waving the national flag, is seen on a street board during an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs on December 22, 2012
The reflection of Bahraini Shiite Muslim protestors, waving the national flag, is seen on a street board during an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs on December 22, 2012 © Mohammed al-Shaikh - AFP/File
The reflection of Bahraini Shiite Muslim protestors, waving the national flag, is seen on a street board during an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs on December 22, 2012
AFP
Last updated: April 7, 2014

Bahrain jails seven Shiite protesters for 15 years

A Bahraini court on Sunday sentenced seven Shiites to 15 years in jail after convicting them of an attack which wounded a policeman during a protest, a judicial source said.

The defendants admitted taking part in an authorised protest and being in possession of Molotov cocktails, the source said.

During the December 2012 demonstration in the Shiite village of Dia near Manama, policemen were attacked and one was wounded.

Dozens of Shiites have been tried over unrest following Arab Spring-inspired protests in mid-February 2011, during which demonstrators called for reforms in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The Shiite-led protests led to a nationwide crackdown a month later, backed by Saudi-led Gulf forces which rolled into Bahrain in support of the ruling Al-Khalifa family.

Three years on and Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, remains deeply divided and demonstrators frequently clash with security forces in Shiite villages outside the capital.

Last year, authorities increased the penalties for those convicted of violence, introducing the death penalty or life sentences in certain cases.

At least 89 people have been killed in Bahrain since the protests began, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

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