Bahrain Shia leaders charged with terror, treason

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October 14, 2010 14:29

Thousands of Shia Muslims demonstrating in Manama against the Bahraini government. Photo - Zizou scorpion

Who: Shia Muslim opposition activists.

What: Bahraini government has charged 23 people with terrorism and overthrowing the country’s monarchy. The legal proceedings against the Shia Muslim activists are announced just 11 days before the parliamentary elections.

Where: Abdur Rahman al-Sayyed, a representative of the public prosecutor in Manama, capital of the tiny Gulf island of Bahrain identified the suspects and read the charges.

When: The prosecution levelled the charges on Thursday morning, 14 October whereas the arrests took place in mid-August this year.

Why: “The leaders of the network have been accused of several crimes including the planning and instigation of violence, conducting a wide-ranging propaganda campaign against the Kingdom and seeking to overthrow the regime by force,” the prosecutor said in his statement. Bahrain has a Shia majority whereas the ruling elite is Sunni. Shia Muslims have long accused the government of discrimination in housing and deprivation of jobs in government and security forces.

How: Bahraini authorities arrested several high-profile politicians including Abd al-Jalil Singace, head of the Shia-dominated Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy and his deputy Hussein Mshaim in August this year. The tiny Gulf state has seen several demonstrations in the last few months held by the majority Shia Muslims against the government asking for equal rights and release of their leadership.

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