DUBAI: A Bahraini court jailed yesterday four Shias 15 years each after convicting them of detonating a bomb that wounded an Asian worker in Manama, a judicial source said. The ruling is the third tough sentence since Sunday and brings to 91 the number of Shias jailed in four days over violence, amid criticism from rights watchdog Amnesty International. Two of the defendants were in the dock, while the other two remain at large, said the source. The four were accused of “forming a terrorist group, attempted murder, and (carrying out) bombings,” according to the charge sheet. Prosecutors say they planted two roadside bombs in November last year in Manama’s Al Adliya district. One bomb exploded near a rubbish bin wounding an Asian worker, while the second one near an electricity generator was defused.
Saudi activist arrested
JEDDAH: Saudi authorities detained prominent rights activist Waleed Abulkhair yesterday for setting up an “unauthorised” gathering hall where he held meetings with reformists in the absolute monarchy, his wife said. Abulkhair, was taken into custody for setting up “an unauthorised diwaniah,” or gathering place, and “due to his relations with the reformists and for hosting them in our diwaniah,” Samar Badawi said. She said Abulkhair will be interrogated today by the public prosecutor of Jeddah, who will decide whether to release him on bail on keep him in custody. The lawyer is already facing two trials over disrespecting the judiciary and having contact with foreign organisations. Abulkhair has created a group on Facebook — Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi — which has nearly 7,000 members.
KUWAIT CITY: A Kuwaiti court yesterday sentenced prominent opposition writer Mohammad Al Wushaihi to a three-month jail term for tweets deemed derogatory to a former prime minister. The court ruling said Wushaihi had been convicted of posting messages on Twitter defaming former premier Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family. The ruling stipulated that Wushaihi, who is also a television presenter, must start serving his jail term immediately, but that he could appeal the sentence. He could also request the judge suspend the implementation of the jail term until any appeals court ruling on the case.
Iraqi helicopter shot down
KIRKUK: Militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter yesterday, killing four security forces members, as at least 14 people died in other violence, officials said. The helicopter was shot down during a large-scale operation against militants in a desert area west of Baiji, north of Baghdad, killing two crew members and two soldiers who were on board, army officers said. In Kirkuk, a car bomb detonated near the governorate headquarters, killing two people and wounding 15. In Nineveh province, attacks killed three people, and soldiers shot one militant dead. Violence in Diyala province left two people dead and two wounded. Three bombings in Baghdad killed four people and wounded 17, while another bomb exploded near a vegetable market southeast of the capital, killing two and wounding six. Agencies