Bahrain court jails three protesters: Lawyer

AFP , Monday 3 Jun 2013

Main defendant sentenced to 15 years in prison for trying to kill officer, joining protests and taking part in violence; second and third defendants get 10 and 5 years in jail

A Bahrain court on Monday jailed three protesters for up to 15 years on charges including attempting to kill a policeman and taking part in anti-government demonstrations, a lawyer said.

The main defendant was given 15 years for trying to kill the officer, as well as joining protests and taking part in violence in June 2012 in a Shiite village near the capital Manama, the lawyer said.

The second got 10 years, also for attempted murder and participating in protests and violence, while the third was jailed for five years, the lawyer said, requesting anonymity.

At least 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since February 2011, according to the International Federation for Human Rights, when Shiite-dominated protests rocked the streets of Manama.

Despite a heavy-handed crackdown in March 2011, backed by Saudi-led Gulf troops, demonstrators were soon back on the street.

Strategically located across the Gulf from Shiite Iran, Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and is a major offshore financial and services centre for its Arab neighbours in the oil-rich Gulf.

The Shiite-majority kingdom is ruled by the Sunni Muslim Al-Khalifa dynasty.

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