[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
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list