Bloomberg News

Bahrain Court Sentences 35 Over Role in Anti-Government Protests

October 03, 2011

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A special court in Bahrain sentenced 35 people to terms ranging from 15 years to life in prison in three cases related to anti-government unrest earlier this year, including the murder of a Pakistani national.

Thirteen “outlaws” were given life sentences today for killing the Pakistani after assaulting him outside his home with wooden planks and metal bars, and for attacking another man, state-run Bahrain News Agency said.

Bahraini authorities detained hundreds of people, most of them Shiite Muslims, following a crackdown on protesters who held rallies in February and March to demand a more representative government. At least 35 people were killed during the clashes. Shiites represent about 70 percent of Bahrain’s population, according to the U.S. State Department, while its hereditary rulers are Sunni.

In another case, 15 defendants each received 15 years in jail for the attempted murder of a military official who was stabbed in his car, BNA said. The defendants also destroyed buildings at the University of Bahrain and participated in anti- regime demonstrations, BNA reported.

In the third case, the First National Safety Court in Manama, the capital, sentenced six people to 15 years and one man to 18 years in prison for the attempted murder of several people at the University of Bahrain by surrounding them in a building before setting it on fire, stealing computers and the possession of flammable containers, the news agency said.

The court also imposed a joint fine of 349,300 dinars ($926,500) against all the defendants, according to BNA.

‘Black Day’

“Monday is a black day that is added to the record of political persecution from which the citizens of Bahrain suffer,” the opposition al-Wefaq, the largest Shiite group, said in an e-mailed statement that called for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

A Bahraini court yesterday sentenced two people to three months in prison and fined each 100 dinars for blocking traffic as part of an anti-government protest.

Cases against several other people involved in the Sept. 21 and Sept. 26 incidents are under way in the Traffic Misdemeanor Court, BNA reported, citing traffic prosecutor Hussain Al-Buali. The opposition has urged Bahrainis to block traffic in Manama and its suburbs during rush hour tomorrow.

--Editors: Jennifer M. Freedman, Ben Holland

To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu Nasr in Manama, Bahrain, at dabunasr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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