In the Quran,
"the taking of one innocent life is like taking all of Mankind... and the saving of one life is like saving all of Mankind" - Holy Qur'an, 5:33.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Bahrain unrest: Eight Shia activists sentenced to life
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:07
Bahrain has sentenced eight Shia pro-democracy activists to life in jail for "plotting to overthrow the government", the state news agency says.
They were among 21 opposition figures tried by a special security court. Others got sentences of up to 15 years.
Ahead of the verdict, their supporters blocked roads and staged rallies.
Bahrain's mainly Shia protesters have been calling for democratic reforms and more rights for the country's Shia majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.
They have long complained of systematic discrimination, and point to high unemployment, poor housing and the fact that they are denied high-level positions in government departments.
A wave of peaceful protests swept the country in February and March, but they were put down by force by the government, which called in troops from neighbouring Gulf states. Emergency law was only lifted on 1 June.
Correspondents say the sentencing threatens to re-ignite simmering tensions in the tiny Gulf state.
Among those who received life sentences are:
• Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, one of the country's leading human rights activists
• Abd al-Jalil Singace, head of the Shia-dominated Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy
• Hassan Mushaima, who returned from self-imposed exile in the UK in February after the Bahraini government dropped charges against him in a bid to appease protesters
In addition to the life sentences, 10 activists were given 15 years in jail, two others were given five years and one man received a two-year jail term.
Seven people were sentenced in absentia. Among them were Hassan Mushaima's son Ali - who is in the UK - and Ali Abdulemam, an outspoken government critic known as the "Bahraini blogger" who went into hiding in March. Both men were given 15 years.
The activists have 15 days to appeal the rulings, the state news agency BNA said.--
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