Bahrain Sentences 8 Shiite Activists to Life in Prison

Harsh verdicts could lead to more unrest, say observers
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2011 10:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Bahrain government continues its crackdown on dissidents and the opposition, as eight Shiite activists were sentenced to life in prison today on charges of plotting to overthrow the Sunni royal family during protests earlier this year, reports CNN. Thirteen other protesters received sentences of two to 15 years. Upon receiving their sentences, one defendant immediately shouted, "We will continue our peaceful struggle," while others chanted "peaceful, peaceful."

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Witnesses say Bahrain security forces have fired tear gas at protesters following the court's decision. Marchers were apparently trying to reach a central square in Bahrain's capital, Manama, which was once the hub of their protests for greater rights in the Gulf kingdom. It was the first significant effort by protesters in months to return to the streets, reports the AP. (Read more Bahrain stories.)

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