Dozens of Bahrainis face court, 7 already convicted

June 12, 2011 20:57
1 minute read.

MANAMA - Thirty three Bahrainis faced military court hearings on Sunday, on charges of illegal activities during weeks of protests that rocked the Gulf island kingdom earlier this year, the state news agency said.

Opposition groups estimate about 400 people, most of them from the country's majority Shi'ite population, are on trial, but the government says the numbers are far less.

Bahrain's Sunni rulers called in troops from fellow Sunni-led Gulf states to help crush mostly Shi'ite-led democracy protests in March. The government said the protests had a sectarian agenda and help from Shi'ite power Iran, which the opposition denies.

Bahrain lifted emergency law last week, but tensions remain and the trials of dozens of politicians, activists and doctors has provoked more resentment among Shi'ites. Several villages have seen daily protests since last week.

Bahrain's official news agency reported seven more people were sentenced on Sunday, with prison terms of one to six years for convictions that ranged from illegally storing weapons to attempted murder of policemen.

Twenty people were brought in for another hearing on charges over the use of violence in protests that blocked off the kingdom's financial district, but their trial was postponed.

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