Four protesters get one-year jail terms in Bahrain

AFP , Wednesday 25 May 2011

Four Bahraini citizens sentenced to one-year in prison for taking part in protests and inciting against monarchy

A special Bahraini court has sentenced four people to one year in prison for taking part in protests that rocked the kingdom before being crushed in March, a rights group said Wednesday.

The national safety court on Tuesday accused two of them of "taking part in illegal protests and disrupting public order," said a statement published on the website of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights.

The third was "convicted of participating in illegal protests for criminal ends" while the fourth "was found guilty of holding pamphlets calling for the overthrow of the kingdom’s ruling system," said the rights group.

The same court on April 28 sentenced to death two Shiites convicted of killing two policemen during unrest that hit the Sunni-ruled kingdom, drawing international condemnation.

The court was set up under the state of national safety, a lower level of emergency law declared by King Hamad in mid-March, a day before an all-out crackdown on a month-long, Shiite-dominated protest demanding political reforms.

Last month, authorities said 405 detainees had been referred to national safety courts, of whom 312 were later released.

Bahraini authorities have said 24 people were killed during the month-long unrest, most of them demonstrators.

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