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Prominent Bahrain cleric criticizes judicial system

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A prominent Bahraini cleric has criticized the country’s judicial system for its harsh sentences against anti-regime protesters.

Sheikh Issa Qassim said in a Friday speech that Bahrain’s courts are very tough on protesters while being lenient with pro-regime offenders.

“Many harsh sentences are only issued against one faction of the people” in the country, Sheikh Qassim said.

Sheikh Qassim added that Bahraini judges need to treat people equally if they are abiding by the same law in the country.

He also said that the government calls the opposition terrorists while many are allowed to do whatever they like.

He went on to say that “confessions of victims of these harsh sentences were extracted under torture.”

Sheikh Qassim has repeatedly criticized Manama over its violent crackdown on protests.

On November 3, a Bahraini court sentenced four activists to life in prison and six others to 15-year jail terms for taking part in anti-regime protests.

Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February 2011. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the regime crackdown.

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