Bahrain’s highest court slapped 19 people with jail terms after they were convicted of maintaining links with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, as reported on Anadolu Agency.
According to the Bahraini News Agency (BNA), the Court of Cassation sentenced eight of those convicted to 25 years each in prison, nine to 15 years, and two to ten years for “communicating with a foreign country and a terrorist organisation”.
The court also ruled to strip 15 of the 19 people sentenced of their Bahraini citizenship.
The defendants were initially convicted of the charges in late 2017, but had later managed to appeal the sentences.
According to the BNA, investigations had proven that the convicts – all of them members of Bahrain’s Al-Wafaa group – had “plotted to form a secret cell with a view to inciting the Bahraini public against the regime”.
A Bahraini Shia movement, Al-Wafaa has been designated a “terrorist group” by the Bahraini authorities.
Cell members, the news agency said, had “communicated with leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group, from which they received financial and technical support”.
Like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain frequently accuses Iran of “interfering in its domestic affairs” – allegations denied by Tehran.