Bahrain revokes citizenship of 138 people in mass trial

Bahrain has revoked the nationality of 138 people convicted of terrorism in a mass trial, according to the kingdom’s state news agency.

The Bahrain News Agency citing Advocate General Ahmed al-Hammadi reported Tuesday that the High Criminal Court also sentenced 69 terror suspects to life in prison.

Thirty-nine of the defendants received sentences up to 10 years, while 23 received 7-year terms. The remainder received up to 5 years.

The defendants were accused of attempting to form a terror group in the country .The alleged group was “tasked to target” the country’s oil installations and “vital locations in order to destabilize Bahrain,” reported the state agency.

Thirty suspects were acquitted, according to the report.

Amnesty International slammed the ruling as a “mockery of justice.”

“With these outrageous sentences, Bahrain’s authorities have once again demonstrated their complete disregard for international fair trial standards,” Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf said in a statement.

“Arbitrarily stripping people of their citizenship and rendering citizens stateless are blatant violations of international law. Bahrain’s authorities must immediately stop relying on these unlawful measures as punishment,” Maalouf added.

In response to a request for comment, Bahrain’s government referred CNN to the BNA report on the mass trials.

Last May, a court in Bahrain revoked the citizenship of 115 people, giving 53 of them life sentences on terror charges, according to Reuters.

This February, Bahrain sentenced 167 people to between 6 months and 10 years in prison, according to court document seen by Reuters.

In a statement, provided to Reuters by a government spokesperson, the defendants were convicted for the “abduction and torture of innocent citizens and attacks on police officers.”

The defendants were arrested at a 2017 sit-in outside the home and in support of a leading Bahraini Shia Muslim cleric.

Hundreds of people have been imprisoned in Bahrain since activists led a pro-democracy uprising in 2011. Opposition activists say the movement has been predominantly peaceful and international advocacy groups have frequently criticized the island kingdom’s rights record.

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