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10-15 Year Prison Terms Handed Down 13 Bahrainis Stripped of their Citizenships over Forming "Terrorist Group"

2015-11-26 - 8:20 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's Fourth High Criminal Court, presided over by judge Ali Al-Dhahrani with the membership of judges Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa and Jamal Awad and Ahmad Al-Sulaiman as secretariat, revoked the citizenships of 13 Bahrainis in a case that includes 16 suspects accused of forming a terrorist group, manufacturing bombs and training on targeting policemen. The court; however, acquitted 3 suspects of the charges brought against them.

The court sentenced on Monday (November 23, 2015) 3 Bahrainis to 15 years in prison and 10 others to 10 years and stripped these 13 citizens of their citizenships.

The court said that the fourth suspect is under 18, thus the court referred his case to article 77 of the penal code to prosecute him. It stated that it acquitted the 3 suspects due to a lack of evidence against them as their names were not mentioned in the investigations.

The Public Prosecution accused the first suspect of establishing a "terrorist group" that planned to launch operations against "policemen, vital sites as well as the Embassy of Saudi Arabia". It brought charges of "joining a terrorist group, manufacturing bombs, training on the use of explosives and attempting to kill policemen" against others. Moreover, the prosecution accused some of "helping to commit crimes, providing SIM cards, using IDs illegally for a terrorist aim, and forging an application of a communication company to get a number of SIM cards under names of other people for a terrorism aim."

Human rights organizations challenge the charges raised against the suspects since they doubt the independence of the judiciary, whose members are assigned by royal decrees, and since it issues sentences based on confessions extracted under duress and evidence presented by secret investigations and anonymous witnesses.

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