On Thursday, the First High Criminal Court sentenced five defendants to life in prison after finding them guilty of “blasting open cash machines in vital areas between 2018 and 2019,” Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.
The report added that they were also ordered to pay a fine of 500 dinars ($1,326) each.
Separately, another anti-regime protester received a five-year prison sentence, and was ordered to pay a fine of 500 dinars by the same court.
On October 15, the [Persian] Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights said in a report that the Bahraini regime’s courts had handed down 271 life sentences to dissidents between January 2018 and May 2019.
Bahraini courts issue life terms for 271 anti-regime activists since Jan. 2018: Rights groupAn independent human rights group says Bahraini courts have sentenced 271 anti-regime dissidents to life imprisonment since January 2018.
The report added that a total of 130 life sentences were issued by Bahraini courts between January and December last year – at an average of 10.8 cases per month. May 2018 set a record high then, when 43 life sentences were issued in just one month.
It further noted that the frequency of life sentences increased significantly in 2019, and a total of 141 Bahraini activists were sentenced to life in prison between January and May at a rate of 28.2 cases per month. The process reached its peak in April, when 63 Bahrainis were sentenced to life imprisonment. All those people sentenced to life in 2019 were revoked of their Bahraini citizenship as well.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
Sheikh Salman’s life term shows Bahrain judiciary is corrupt & politicized, Wefaq saysBahraini opposition group al-Wefaq says last year’s life term against top dissident Sheikh Salman shows judiciary is “corrupt and politicized.”
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.