Bahrain revokes citizenship of 138 people after mass trial

A court in Bahrain has sentenced 139 people to prison, and revoked the citizenship of all but one, after convicting them of terrorism charges.

Sixty-nine defendants were given life sentences, while the others got terms of between three and seven years.

They were accused of setting up a cell linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

The Sunni-ruled kingdom has accused Iran of fomenting unrest among its Shia majority community since it put down a pro-democracy uprising in 2011.

Iran supported the uprising, but it has repeatedly denied backing the local Shia militant groups that have carried out attacks on security forces.

Fifty-eight of the defendants were tried in absentia, a judicial source told AFP news agency.

It is unclear where any of those stripped of citizenship could be sent.

Last September, Bahrain’s public prosecution announced it had charged 169 unnamed people with being members of a terrorist cell that it referred to as “Bahraini Hezbollah”, after the Iran-backed militant Lebanese Shia movement.

The suspects were also accused of detonating bombs, attempted murder, damaging property and illegally possessing weapons and explosives.

The prosecution alleged that Bahraini Hezbollah was set up “at the behest of Iranian regime leaders who ordered the Iranian Revolutionary Guard elements to unify the Bahrain-based terrorist elements to carry out their plots and acts of terrorism against Bahrain”.

The prosecution also alleged that the…

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