Bahrain activists lose appeals against jail terms

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Bahrain activists lose appeals against jail terms

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Twenty opposition activists in Bahrain have lost their appeals against their jail terms for their role in pro-democracy protests last year.

Judges upheld the sentences handed down by a military court last November.
They range from five years to life imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Mohammed Aljishi denied prosecutors’ claims that the activists were in court.

“None of the defendants were present in court today or in previous sessions,” he said.

Aljishi said his clients stayed away because oppose the way the court operates in denying them the right to call witnesses.

Seven of the activists are still at large.

Human rights groups say authorities presented no evidence to backup the charges that the group plotted to overthrow the state.

Defence lawyers say they only ever advocated peaceful demonstrations against perceived persecution of Bahrain’s Shia Muslim majority by the Sunni royal family.