By Ed Attwood
Suspects will face 12 charges, including 'attempt to overthrow the government by force'
Bahrain has referred 21 suspects to the country’s National Safety Court, charging them with attempts to overthrow the government, state media said Sunday.
The Gulf nation’s news agency BNA said that the accused were “involved in the case of the terrorist organisation related to the attempt to overthrow the government by force, and in liaison with a terrorist organisation working for a foreign country.”
Of the 21 charged by the military public prosecutor, 14 have been questioned, while the remaining seven have been charged in absentia.
The BNA statement did not indicate what penalties were being pursued by the military court. It also did not clarify which terrorist organisation it was alluding to in the charges, although Bahrain has recently ejected an Iranian diplomat from his post in Manama.
All 21 suspects face the same 12 charges, which include “correspondence with a terrorist organisation abroad”, insulting the army and “broadcasting false news and rumours that threaten public security”.
Among those on trial are Hassan Ali Mushaima, leader of the Haq opposition movement, and Ibrahim Shareef, the Sunni head of the Waad faction.
The move follows a military court’s conviction of a man accused of trying to kill policemen during local unrest this year.
Last week, Abdulla Mohammed Habib was sentenced to five years in prison and two in detention for attempted murder and damaging public property.
Bahrain banned protests when it imposed martial law in March and invited troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbours to help quash weeks of protests by pro-reform demonstrators.
Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested since then while many more have been sacked from government jobs and state-linked companies, rights groups say.
At least 13 protesters and four police were killed during the clashes, at least three of whom were run over by cars around March 16.
Four activists have also been sentenced to death for the killing of two policemen, while a further three were handed life sentences.
My hearty congratulations to the Bahrain gov for taking the right action in right time. I was in Bahrain during the so called protest and have witnessed all sort of terrorism carried out by Shi'ite. I request the Bahrain gov not to spare a single person involved in destroying this beloved country.
In all countries those who do terrorism acts against their nations are trialled. Some countries put severe punishment depending on the results of trials.
The same thing applies to Bahrain and whoever committed wrong acts should be punnished.
Thanks to the Govt of Bahrain and GCC support in putting order back to this small and lovely country.