Bahrain Shias protest jailing of 13 activists

January 13, 2013 - 3:27:31 am

MANAMA: Thousands of Shias demonstrated near Manama yesterday in a new protest against an appeals court upholding jail terms for 13 activists on charges of plotting to overthrow Bahrain’s rulers, witnesses said.

“We will not resign ourselves to it” and “we will not forget the prisoners,” shouted demonstrators during the peaceful protest that was monitored by a heavy security presence. Some carried photos of those convicted.

On Monday, the Court of Cassation upheld sentences ranging from between five years and life in prison against the 13, who took part in 2011 anti-government protests. They were convicted by a military tribunal on charges that included “setting up terror groups to topple the regime,” and were later retried in a civilian court.

Hours after the ruling, hundreds of people gathered in the Shia village of Malkiya in support of the prisoners.

Since February 2011, Bahrain has been shaken by opposition protests that the authorities of the Sunni-dominated kingdom say are being fuelled by Shia Iran across the Gulf. At the time, the main Shia opposition movement Al-Wefaq called the verdict 

political. AFP