June 24, 2019

Shia protesters in Bahrain sentenced to life in prison

Life sentences for some but still the people protest inthe streets.

A Bahrain court has sentenced eight Shia pro-democracy activists to life in prison for “plotting to overthrow the government.”

The Special Security Court put 21 opposition activists on trial and rewarded their opposition to the government with hefty jail sentences.

Undeterred, protesters staged more rallies and blocked roads in support of those on trial.

The Shia majority in Bahrain has been calling for democratic reforms in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The initial wave of protests in February and March was on the verge of toppling the government before soldiers from neighbouring gulf states were called in to help suppress the unrest.

Witnesses in the courtroom said that the judge read the sentences very quickly, but some of the accused spoke out.

Ibrahim Sharif, leader of the secular Waad party cried: “Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful. Our people want freedom.” Rights campaigner Abdulhadi al-Khawaja shouted: “We will continue to fight for our rights and our people” as he was sentenced to life in prison.

Bahraini authorities claim that those charged plotted to overthrow Bahrain’s Sunni rulers “by force and intelligence with a terror group colluding with a foreign country” – in an apparent reference to Iran.

The government and its supporters have accused Iran and the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah of helping to stir up the unrest, in which nearly 30 people – mostly unarmed protesters – have been killed.

Bahrain will not be able to hold back the will of the majority forever. When it falls, a number of other gulf states will follow suit.