Bahrainis rap death sentences, hefty jail terms for anti-regime activists

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Bahraini protesters have staged demonstrations across the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom to express their outrage over death sentences and hefty prison terms handed down to opposition figures and political activists.

The demonstrators marched along the streets in the northern village of al-Musalla on Friday, denouncing the ruling Al Khalifah regime for the heavy-handed crackdown on the dissidents. They also voiced their solidarity with anti-regime activists.

The protesters also confirmed that the Manama regime’s repressive measures would not deter them from pressing on with their democratic demands, noting that their perseverance would eventually lead to victory.

The marchers shouted slogans in support of distinguished Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, whom the Al Khalifah regime has stripped of citizenship and is going to put on trial on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism.” Sheikh Qassim has strongly denied the allegations.

They described the 77-year-old clergyman as their red line, saying they will firmly support him.

The protesters also condemned the Al Khalifah regime for the death of 17-year-old Mustafa Hamdan, who was shot and critically injured by the Bahraini regime forces during a sit-in near Sheikh Qassim’s residence in the northwestern village of Diraz on January 26.

Hamdan died of his wounds at Salmaniyah Medical Complex in Manama on March 24.

A similar rally was held in the northern village of Abu Saiba, where demonstrators carried pictures of Sheikh Qassim and Hamdan.

They stated that the nation would emerge victorious at the end of its campaign for democracy, chanting “We Will Not Take Humiliation.”

Anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.

On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or been arrested as a result of Bahrain’s crackdown.

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