UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Bahrain’s top criminal court sentenced 138 Bahrainis to three years in prison for life and stripped them of their nationality to be convicted of “founding and joining a terrorist group,” Bahrain’s chief judge Ahmed al-Hammadi said.
The convicted, who are Shiites according to a judicial source, are among 169 people tried in this case and charged with links to the Revolutionary Guards in Iran.
It is the largest group to be convicted and stripped of its nationality in a single trial since the start of prosecutions against Shi’ite dissidents following protests in 2011, according to the Bahrain Institute of Rights and Democracy.
Al-Hammadi said the convicts tried to form an organization called “Hezbollah Bahrain” similar to the Lebanese Hezbollah.
69 were sentenced to life imprisonment and 39 were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. The rest were sentenced to seven to three years’ imprisonment. Including one who has not been stripped of his Bahraini nationality.
Thirty defendants were acquitted in the trial, which Amnesty International condemned.
Bahrain has been beset by sporadic unrest and opposition movements since the suppression of the 2011 protests, which were led by the Shiite majority in a country ruled by a Sunni family.
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