1015 GMT August 18, 2018
On Friday, Bahrain's Fifth High Criminal Court, presided over by Judge Ibrahim Al Zayed, sentenced five defendants to ten years in jail and another to seven years behind bars on charges of possession of explosives during an anti-regime rally in the village of Ma'ameer on June 16, 2015, Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.
The court convicted the first five defendants with arson, participation in a banned gathering of more than five people and committing acts deemed to undermine public security.
The sixth defendant was found guilty of collaboration with the quintet, including the provision of explosive materials for one of the defendants.
Nationwide anti-regime rallies
Separately, people staged rallies across Bahrain following the Friday Prayers in condemnation of the regime forces’ attack on the supporters of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim in Diraz.
The protesters took to the streets in the villages of Saar, Eker, Nuwaidrat, Abu Saiba, As Sahlah al-Fawqiyah, Sanabis, Karbabad, Ma’ameer and Karzakan in addition to A'ali town and Bilad al-Qadeem suburb of Manama to express their solidarity with the prominent clergyman and his followers.
Bahrainis carried national flags and chanted slogans against the ruling dynasty in Saar village.
In Nuwaidrat, regime forces used tear gas and birdshots to disperse the protesting crowd.
Meanwhile, a distinguished Bahraini Shia Muslim cleric has held the ruling Al Khalifah regime fully responsible for deteriorating political conditions in the country.
Sheikh Hussain al-Daihi, the deputy secretary general of the dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, called on the international community to intervene and protect the Bahraini nation against the Manama regime’s heavy-handed crackdown and large-scale religious discrimination before it is too late.
The cleric also warned the Bahraini regime of the adverse consequences of any adventurism, denouncing the attack on a group of people who had gathered outside the residence of Sheikh Qassim in the village of Diraz to express their solidarity with the 79-year-old cleric.
Daihi stated that the Bahraini regime's mercenaries used live bullets in attacks on protesters. A 17-year-old teenage boy, identified as Mustafa Hamdan, was critically injured despite being unarmed.
On June 20, 2016, Bahraini authorities stripped Sheikh Qassim, who is al-Wefaq spiritual leader, of his nationality.
They later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the clergyman, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous 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.
Manama has spared no effort to clamp down on the dissent and rights activists. 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.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown on anti-regime activists.