Bahraini opposition leaders jailed for life


A Bahraini court has ordered life sentences for three senior opposition members. The court overturned a previous acquittal on charges of spying for Qatar in what an international rights group called a “travesty of justice”.

A public prosecutor statement said the court sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, secretary general of the opposition al-Wefaq group, and Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Alaswad, members of the same group, to life in jail for transferring confidential information and receiving financial support from Qatar.

Bahrain’s public prosecutor had appealed a court ruling that acquitted the three senior leaders last June in a rare win for opposition figures who say they have been targeted by prosecutors for their political views. Sultan and Alaswad were tried in absentia.

Salman is already serving a four-year prison sentence for inciting hatred and insulting the interior ministry, after he was arrested in 2015. Along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, Bahrain imposed a boycott on Qatar last year, accusing it of supporting terrorism and getting cozy with Iran.