Bahrain Sentences 4 Protesters to Death
New York Times

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A military court in Bahrain sentenced four Shiite Muslim protesters to death on Thursday for the killing of two policemen last month during demonstrations against the Sunni Muslim-ruled government, Bahrain’s national news agency reported

Three other activists who were also on trial in the same case received sentences of life in prison.

Human rights activists in Bahrain voiced fears that the verdicts could generate a new wave of protests in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom. They also argued that the trial was rendered unfair by a series of legal abuses, including the arrest of one of the defendants’ lawyers, Mohammed al-Tajer, one of Bahrain’s most prominent attorneys. The suspects were also barred from meeting with their families, and the news media were not allowed to cover the trial.

“These verdicts will have a huge negative impact on the Bahraini society,” said Mohamad Maskati, who heads a human rights group in the kingdom. “We fear brutal violence in the days ahead. I am not optimistic at all — especially that there could be more similar verdicts in the near future.”

Other activists refused to talk, citing the wave of arrests that have swept the country in the past two months.

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