Bahrain worshippers protest death sentences

Thousands denounce death sentences for anti-government protesters, and solidarity protests in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan

Thousands of Bahraini Shia have gathered before a revered cleric to denounce death sentences given to protesters over anti-government rallies crushed last month in the Gulf kingdom.

The verdict, a day earlier to four men accused of killing two policemen in violent protests last month, could intensify sectarian tension in the Sunni Muslim-ruled state that hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

“It’s not true that they killed them,” a man who identified himself only as Moussa said, after praying at the mosque of Sheikh Issa Qassim, as a police helicopter circled overhead.

“The government made it up just like a movie.”

He was referring to video footage that Bahraini authorities have circulated showing the two policemen smashed by a vehicle that sped through a crowd of protesters, some of whom appeared to then trample and kick the fallen men.

Police kept a tight grip on roads leading to the village where the mosque is located, turning back many vehicles.

The rulings were only the third time in over 30 years that a death sentence had been given to a Bahraini citizen.

The seven defendants were tried behind closed do…

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