Bahrain

Iran Deplores Court Ruling on Bahraini Opposition Figures

Iran strongly condemned heavy jail sentences for Bahraini protesters, saying that the court ruling is the continuation of Manama regime’s wrong policies.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said on Thursday that the verdicts were the continuation of the regime’s “wrong and fruitless policy” of suppressing the Bahraini people’s peaceful protests.

He called on Manama to respect the legitimate rights of its people.

A Bahraini court on Tuesday upheld the verdicts of 13 leading opposition figures who had previously been convicted by a military tribunal of plotting to overthrow the monarchy.

Seven of the activists, including the prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, had been given life sentences by the military court.

The Iranian foreign ministry presser further stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the only solution to current crisis in Bahraini and restore stability and security to the country is to respond responsibly to the people’s legitimate demands.

Meantime, a large number of Bahraini people staged rallies to protest at the verdicts issued by Al-Khalifa courts for opposition figures and activists.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.

Police clampdown on protesters continues daily. Authorities have tried to stop organized protests by opposition parties over the past months by refusing to license them and using tear gas on those who turn up.

The opposition coalition wants full powers for the elected parliament and a cabinet fully answerable to parliament.

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