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September 28, 2011

Bahrain Sentences Protester to Death

A special court in Bahrain has sentenced a protester to death and another to life in prison for killing a policeman.

VOA's Susan Yackee speaks with Said Boumedouha of Amnesty International about the sentencing:


The court Thursday also sentenced 20 medical workers who treated protesters during anti-government protests that began in February.  The sentences range from five years to 15 years in prison.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency said the medics were jailed for forcefully occupying a hospital, spreading false news, inciting hatred of Bahrain's rulers and calling for an overthrow of the regime.

The ruling comes a day after a court upheld life sentences for eight Shi'ite opposition activists convicted of plotting to overthrow the Sunni-led minority government.  Thirteen other activists received sentences ranging from two years to 15 years on similar charges of sedition.

Bahrain received help from some of its Gulf Arab neighbors to quell the anti-government protests.  About 40 people were killed during clashes between security forces and protesters, and more than 1,000 people were detained.

The government has defended the crackdown, saying it was needed to reinstate stability.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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