Continuing its crackdown against its dissidents, the Bahraini regime's Fourth High Criminal Court revoked the citizenship of 115 people and gave 53 of them life sentences in one of the most severe rulings yet in the Gulf island kingdom.
The court sentenced 3 others to 15 years in prison. The court also handed down 10-year jail term to a suspect, 7-year jail term to 15, 5-year jail term to 37 and 3-year jail term to 6 suspects.
Meanwhile, it acquitted 23 defendants and ordered the revocation of citizenships of the 115 convicts.
Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, has been cracking down on Shi'ite opposition groups and rights activists since they led peaceful protests in 2011. The crackdown has been condemned internationally.
In a statement, prosecutors said 138 people had been accused of "being behind a number of explosions, possession of explosives and training in the use of weapons and explosives and the attempted murder of police officers".
In this regard, activists accuse the regime of subjecting members of the Shi'ite majority to systematic political and economic discrimination.
"This outrageously harsh sentence is setting a new level of injustice in Bahrain. Rendering people stateless in a mass trial is a clear violation of international law. This is the worst verdict on the record", said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, an activist with London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.
The latest ruling brought to 717 the number of Bahrainis stripped of their citizenship since 2012, he said in a statement, adding that there had been 213 cases this year alone.
Earlier in January, a Bahraini court sentenced two people to death and 19 to life in prison on terrorism charges while stripping citizenship from 47.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team