Bahrain sentences Shiite protester to death

2014-02-19 14:30

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Dubai - A Bahrain court on Wednesday sentenced a Shiite protester to death and jailed six others for life after they were convicted of killing a policeman a year ago, a judicial source said.

Two others were sentenced to five and six years in prison respectively on similar charges.

The officer, Mohamed Atef, died on 14 February 2013, after he was hit by a petrol bomb during clashes with protesters in a village near the capital.

In addition to killing the policeman, the nine defendants were also convicted of taking part in an "unlicensed protest".

Death sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment - 25 years - in the Gulf kingdom.

Scores of Shiite Muslims have been tried over unrest in Sunni-ruled Bahrain that erupted during Arab Spring-inspired protests in mid-February 2011.

Last year the authorities increased the penalties for those convicted of violence, introducing the death penalty or life terms in cases which resulted in deaths or injuries.

A policeman was killed in similar circumstances on 14 February this year during protests marking the third anniversary of the uprising.

And on Sunday, a Bahrain court handed down 15-year jail terms to two people convicted of trying to kill police officers.

The International Federation for Human Rights says at least 89 people have been killed since the uprising began three years ago.

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