A court in Bahrain has sentenced five activists to life imprisonment after finding them guilty of joining a terrorist group and “blasting open cash machines in vital areas between 2018 and 2019”, according to the Bahrain Mirror.
The First High Criminal Court sentenced five defendants to life imprisonment and fined them 500 dinars ($1,326) each. Another was jailed for five years and fined the same amount, reported Akhbar Al-Khaleej.
Chief of Terror Crime Prosecution, Advocate-General Chancellor Ahmed Al Hammadi confirmed that the verdicts against the six suspects.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011. They are demanding that the Al Khalifa regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
The authorities have clamped down on any sign of dissent, on 14 March 2011, troops from Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia and the UAE were deployed to assist Manama in its crackdown. Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others have sustained injuries or have been detained.
On 5 March 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians in military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Amnesty International reports that “Bahrain has used draconian legislation to target protesters and other critics of the government. Since 2011, more than 800 people have been stripped of their nationalities. Of those, 115 lost their citizenship following a ludicrous mass trial that relied on confessions extracted under torture.”