Bahraini protesters chant slogans to free prisoners during a sermon Friday, June 10, (AP).
Lebanon's Hezbollah denounced "unjust" sentences of life imprisonment handed by a Bahraini court to eight Shiite opposition activists accused of plotting to overthrow the kingdom's monarchy.
"Hezbollah condemns these politicised and unjust verdicts and ... expresses its complete solidarity with the oppressed people of Bahrain," the Shiite group said in a statement late Thursday.
Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah also reiterated its support for the "just demands" of Bahraini protesters, who since February have been calling for the end of the kingdom's Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, which has been in power for over two centuries.
A Bahrain court on Wednesday sentenced eight leading Shiite opposition activists to life in prison for "plotting to overthrow" the monarchy. It also jailed 13 other activists for two to 15 years on similar charges.
Scores more activists are facing trial on charges linked to the protests in a semi-martial court set up under a "state of national safety" decreed by Bahrain's King Hamad.
Bahrain's interior ministry has said 24 people were killed in the unrest.
Four people have been sentenced to death and three others to life in prison over the killing of two policemen during the protests. Nine others were jailed for 20 years after being convicted of abducting a policeman.
The opposition for its part says dozens of protesters have been arrested -- amid wide claims of torture -- and hundreds of Shiites dismissed from their jobs since Shiite-led protests rocked the kingdom.
Hezbollah has repeatedly criticised the harsh repression of protesters in Bahrain, prompting authorities in Manama to accuse the armed movement of meddling in the kingdom's affairs.