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Bahrain Court Upholds Jail Sentences For Opposition Activists

September 04, 2012

A civilian court in Bahrain has upheld the prison sentences given to 20 opposition activists charged with plotting to overthrow the Gulf Arab monarchy.

The verdicts, originally issued by a military court, include eight life sentences.

The defendants were all prominent figures in last year's Bahraini uprising led by the country's majority Shi'ite Muslims.

Seven of the 20 men were tried in absentia.

Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, was rocked by a months-long protest movement against the ruling Sunni dynasty.

The protests came during a wave of revolts against authoritarian governments across Arab nations.

Those sentenced to life in prison included rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who went on a 110-day hunger strike to protest his detention.

After the original sentences were upheld on September 4, defense lawyers said they plan to appeal.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and the BBC


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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