DUBAI: A Bahraini court sentenced 50 people yesterday to between five and 15 years in jail for setting up a group that organises anti-government protests, and that authorities say is working to topple the government by force.
Activists said the government had accused those convicted of membership of the February 14 movement, which has been organising protests since February 2011, when authorities crushed an uprising demanding that the Sunni government give up power.
The head of public prosecution had described the Shia group as a terrorist organisation.
Yousif Al Muhafda from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said there were human rights campaigners among those convicted “under the internationally criticised and vague terrorism law”, and the sentences added up to more than 400 years in jail.
“This was a sham trial with a political verdict, they should be released immediately,” the group’s acting President, Maryam Al Khawaja, said.
Mohammed Al Maskati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, said a member of the society’s board had been given a 15-year sentence. Reuters