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Bahrain sentences Shi'ite to death, jails 22

01 January 2016, 07:29

Dubai - A Bahraini court on Thursday sentenced a Shi'ite citizen to death and jailed 22 others for life for forming a "terrorist group" that killed two people, including a policeman.

It is the second such ruling this week in the tiny Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom, where members of the Shi'ite majority population have led an uprising.

The court also revoked the citizenships of the 23 convicts and fined two of them $530 000, terror crime prosecution chief Ahmed al-Hammadi said in a statement.

Judicial sources said that all the defendants were Shi'ite and that 16 were tried in absentia, without giving further details.

Hammadi said members of the group were convicted of carrying out bombings in two Shi'ite villages in early December last year.

One of the bombings in Damistan village killed a Jordanian policeman who was working in the Gulf kingdom under a security and training exchange agreement.

The second bombing took place the next day in the nearby village of Karzakan, killing an elderly Bahraini man.

Constitutional monarchy

Both bombings were carried out by the same "terrorist group" formed by the defendants and "specialised in making explosives to target policemen," Hammadi said.

Bahrain on Tuesday handed down sentences ranging from five years to life in prison to 29 people convicted of attempting to murder policemen in a bomb attack later in December last year.

Attacks against police are common in Bahrain, a Western ally and home to the US Fifth Fleet that lies across the Persian Gulf from Iran.

The kingdom has been rocked by the Shiite-led uprising since February 2011, with demands ranging from a constitutional monarchy to overthrowing the ruling Sunni dynasty altogether.

Scores of opponents have been detained, with many facing trial, while others convicted of involvement in violence have been handed heavy sentences, including loss of citizenship and life in prison.



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