[QODLink]
Middle East
Bahraini activists convicted over 'Iran plot'
Six activists given up to 15 years in prison for allegedly working with Iran to topple government, charges they deny.
Last Modified: 27 May 2012 16:54
Pro-government graffiti outside the office of Bahraini opposition party says "Down with Iran" [Reuters]

A Bahraini court has sentenced six people to prison terms of up to 15 years after they were accused of plotting with suspected Iranian government agents to topple the Gulf kingdom's ruling system, a defence lawyer has said.

The convictions, which were announced on Sunday, include three activists put on trial in absentia. The case reflects mounting claims by Gulf Arab states that Iran has links to the Shia-led uprising against Bahrain's Sunni dynasty.

Iranian officials have denounced crackdowns against protesters in Bahrain, but deny any active aid to the demonstrations that began 15 months ago.

The group was convicted of plotting with a "foreign country", a clear reference to Iran, to bring down Bahrain's monarchy.

They also were suspected of planning possible attacks on high-profile targets, such as the country's interior ministry headquarters and the causeway connecting Bahrain with Saudi Arabia, which is Iran's main regional rival.

The convicted activists denied the charges.

Three of those were sentenced in absentia, including the son of jailed activist Hassan Mushaima, who is currently fighting to overturn a life sentence imposed last year because of links to the protests in the island nation.

The son, Ali Mushaima, was arrested last month in London after occupying the rooftop of Bahrain's embassy with other activists.

 

Mohsin al-Alawi, a defence lawyer, said two others received lesser sentences and were freed because they had already spent six months in detention.

At least 50 people have died in unrest since Bahrain's uprising began. Bahraini prosecutors repeatedly claim that Iran, a predominantly Shia country, encourages and assists the protests, but have not produced evidence.

Bahrain and its Gulf allies have issued strongly worded statements demanding Iran stop "meddling" in their affairs.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list