Bahrain convicts 139 for founding terrorist group

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A Bahraini criminal court convicted 139 people on Tuesday for founding and joining a militant cell the authorities have dubbed the “Bahraini Hezbollah,’’ handing down sentences ranging between three years and life in prison.
No fewer than 30 of the 169 people on trial were acquitted, a statement by the public prosecutor said.

Those found guilty were convicted of establishing and joining a terrorist group, using and manufacturing weapons and explosives without a license, bombing and attempted murder.

Others are transferring and receiving money to fund a terrorist group.

The court revoked the citizenship of 138 of them.

It sentenced 69 of the defendants to life imprisonment, while 39 were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The court also imposed heavy fines on 96 of the defendants, ordering each of them to pay 100,000 Bahraini dinars (265,235 US dollars).

The charges were filed after a court hearing on Sept. 3.

Lawyers for the defendants said only 111 were in police custody while the remainder was sentenced in absentia.

The verdicts are not final and can be appealed, one lawyer said.

According to the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), 990 people have lost their Bahraini citizenship due to terrorism-related charges since 2012, with 180 cases reported this year alone.

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