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Bahrain’s supreme court of appeal upholds jail terms against two anti-regime activists

Bahrain’s supreme court of appeal has upheld jail terms against two anti-regime activists, as the ruling Al Khalifah regime continues its clampdown on pro-democracy activists and political dissidents in the kingdom.

The Court of Cassation on Thursday upheld 10-year prison sentences against the pair, whose identities were not immediately disclosed, and said they had affiliation to the February 14 Youth Coalition — an opposition protest movement named after the date of the beginning of a popular uprising against the Manama regime, Bahraini Arabic-language Akhbar al-Khaleej daily newspaper reported.

The defendants were found guilty of “possessing explosive materials without a license and planning to disturb public security for a terrorist purpose.”

The first convict was ordered to pay a fine of 500 dinars ($1,326), while the second one had to pay 100,000 dinars ($265,204).

The two unidentified men had been earlier, between the years 2018 and 2019, charged with participating in activities considered unlawful and promoting calls for civil disobedience.

Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals on March 5, 2017. The move drew widespread condemnation from human rights bodies and activists, and was described as imposition of an undeclared martial law across the country.

Bahrain’s monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah rubber-stamped the constitutional amendment on April 3 that year.

The Persian Gulf kingdom has seen anti-regime protests over the past nine years. The major demand has been the ouster of the Al Khalifah regime and the establishment of a just and conclusive system representing all Bahraini nationals.

The Manama regime, in return, has ignored the calls and is pressing ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations with the help of forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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