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ABU DHABI: A court in Bahrain sentenced a policeman to seven years in prison for the fatal shooting of a Shia protester during the political unrest in the kingdom in 2011, the state news agency BNA reported yeserday.
Ali Abdulhadi Al Mushaima was the first person to die in the violence that erupted in staunch US ally Bahrain last February when thousands of Bahrainis, mostly from its Shia majority, took to the street demanding democratic change in the Sunni-led monarchy.
“In dealing with one of the instances of rioting in the (Daih) area, the accused fired from a birdshot gun, injuring the victim with wounds that claimed his life,” Nawaf Hamza, head of the Public Prosecution’s Special Investigation Unit, was quoted as saying.
The death of Mushaima and another protester, Fadhel Salman Matrook, prompted Bahrain’s King H M Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to give a televised speech in which he said a committee would investigate the killings.
An independent commission said 35 people died during the unrest and two months of martial law that followed, but the opposition puts that number at more than 80.
The government, which brought in troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to help quell the unrest, rejects the figures and has accused opposition groups of being linked to Shia power Iran.