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Bahrain court upholds life sentence against three opposition leaders

Bahrain's highest court has upheld life sentences against three opposition leaders, including top cleric Sheikh Ali Salman, on charges of spying for Qatar, a judicial source said Monday. 
Bahrain court upholds life sentence against three opposition leaders
AVA- Al-Wefaq secretary-general Salman and two senior al-Wefaq leaders Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Alaswad were sentenced to life imprisonment in November. The verdicts issued Monday are final and cannot be appealed.
The 53-year-old Salman was convicted in November of "communicating with Qatari officials... to overthrow constitutional order," a ruling rights groups have denounced as a travesty of justice.
The London-based human rights group Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said the verdict marked the end of a "long, flawed trial."
Back then, Wefaq stated that the Bahraini judiciary was a tool in the hands of the ruling Manama regime, and the ruling reflected the magnitude of turmoil in the kingdom.
Sultan and Alaswad, who had been sentenced to life in absentia, also lost their right to appeal.
Qatar, currently embroiled in a rift with Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies, has categorically denied accusations of conspiring with Salman against Bahrain.  
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates severed their diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. The four countries also imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on Qatar.
Human rights groups have frequently said cases against activists in Bahrain fail to meet the fundamental requirements of fair trials.
Monday 28 January 2019 16:20
Story Code: 178729 Copy text available
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