Bahrain court sentences eight protesters to life in prison

[JURIST] A Bahraini [BBC backgrounder] court on Sunday sentenced eight activists to life in prison for killing a policeman and participating in anti-regime protests in August. The eight pro-democracy protesters said [PressTV report] that they confessed while being tortured. Harsh sentences for activists have become a trend in Bahrain. Since 2011 thousands of pro-democracy demonstrations have been held in the streets of Bahrain concerning the Al Khalifa family [official profile] relinquishing their power over the state. Shortly after the protests began, troops from Saudi Arabia came to Bahrain to assist the regime in its control over peaceful assemblies.

The anti-government protests in early 2011 have spurred numerous legal proceedings in Bahrain. In March a Bahraini court sentenced [JURIST report] 13 Bahrain citizens to life in prison and one man to 10 years in prison for attempting to kill a police officer and participating in an illegal protest. Also in March, Bahrain's Fourth High Criminal Court convicted 11 defendants [JURIST report] of possessing weapons, ammunition and explosives and of manufacturing bombs for terror purposes, meting out 15-year prison sentences and significant fines. In November Bahraini authorities arrested and charged [JURIST report] two former Guantanamo Bay detainees for plotting an attack in Bahrain. In October a Bahrain appellate court reduced the prison sentences [JURIST report] of two police officers convicted of torturing and murdering a detainee after opposition protests in March 2011. In September Mohamed al-Maskati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, reported that a Bahrain court sentenced 50 defendants [JURIST report] to prison terms ranging between five and 15 years in prison, with 20 of the defendants sentenced in absentia.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.