Scores of Bahraini Shiite protesters have been served lengthy jail time for exercising freedom of speech and assembly
Twenty six more Bahraini protesters were sent to jail to serve sentences from 5 to 15 years for involvement in recent uprisings, offenses that are essentially exercises of freedom of speech and assembly.
This is only the latest incident where Shiite political activists have been imprisoned unjustly. Last week, 20 medical professionals were sentenced 10 to 15 years in prison for the crime of treating as patients protesters who had injured as a result of government repression. Three days prior to that, some 46 Shiite protesters were sentenced to lengthy prison terms after clashes amid a by-election boycott.
The authoritarian government of Bahrain dismissed claims that these activists had been arrested and imprisoned for protesting, instead claiming that they attempted to murder and kidnap police, and had engaged in so-called “terrorist” violence. Such unlikely assertions are typical among dictatorial regimes that rely on US support.