Bahrain policeman gets 7 years for killing protester: Lawyer

AFP , Thursday 27 Sep 2012

Court in Bahrain slaps policeman with seven years in prison for killing protester during last year's anti-government demos, lawyer says

A Bahraini court on Thursday sentenced a policeman to seven years in prison for killing a protester during the Shiite-led anti-government demonstrations that rocked the tiny Gulf kingdom in 2011, a lawyer said.

"The policeman was sentenced to seven years in prison for the murder of Hani Abdel Aziz," a Shiite protester, said the lawyer who asked to remain anonymous.

However, the court "acquitted two other officers who were charged with the murder of two other protesters, Ali al-Moumin and Issa Abdel Hasan," the lawyer added. All three victims died of wounds sustained in clashes with riot police who used bird shot to disperse the crowds.

On September 17, the kingdom's attorney general charged a total of seven police officers with torture.

The authorities say they are implementing the recommendations of an independent commission of inquiry called for by the king that confirmed allegations of excessive use of force by security forces during the month-long Arab Spring uprising against the Sunni ruling dynasty.

Home to the US Fifth Fleet and strategically situated across the Gulf from Iran, Bahrain has continued to witness sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations, mostly outside the capital since it crushed the pro-democracy uprising in March last year. According to Amnesty International, at least 60 people have been killed since the protests first erupted last February.

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