13 given life term in Bahrain

April 01, 2014 - 5:36:35 am

MANAMA: Thirteen Bahrainis were sentenced to life in prison after they were convicted of trying to kill two policemen by attacking their vehicle and of taking part in an illegal protest, their lawyer said yesterday.

Another man was jailed for 10 years over the same attack and protest — one of a string of clashes that have continued to erupt since mostly Shia Muslims took to the streets in 2011 to demand more say in the Sunni-ruled, Western-allied kingdom.

The sentences, handed out on Sunday, come days ahead of Bahrain’s Formula One Grand Prix - an annual event which has been cancelled once, then staged amid heavy security since the demonstrations began.

Bahraini media said Sunday’s defendants were accused of attacking two officers in March 2012 as young men threw Molotov cocktails at police during a protest in the Shia village of Bilad Al Qadeem.

Lawyer Mohammed Al Tajer said he would file an appeal.

“Of course I am going to ask for an appeal. Most of the accused didn’t even admit that they committed the crime,” Tajer said, adding that the accused ranged in age from 16 to 34.