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A Bahraini criminal court on Tuesday sentenced two policemen to 10 years in jail each after they were convicted of torturing to death a Shi’a protester, while acquitting three others, a judicial source said.
The two policemen were convicted of “torturing to death Ali al-Saqr... following his arrest during the uprising in February 2011,” the source said.
Three other policemen who were facing charges of “failing to report the crime” were acquitted, the source said.
The five policemen were all acquitted on charges of killing another protester, Zakeriya al-Asheeri, who also died in detention in 2011.
In late January, a court sentenced a policeman to seven years in jail for torturing to death a protester during month-long Shi’a-led protests in Manama against the rule of the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.
A number of other policemen are being investigated or are on trial for allegedly torturing detainees after hundreds of Shi’as were rounded up when security forces crushed the protests in mid-March 2011.
The authorities say they are implementing the recommendations of an independent commission of inquiry appointed by the king that confirmed allegations of excessive use of force by security forces during the unrest.
Home to the US Fifth Fleet and strategically situated across the Gulf from Iran, Bahrain has continued to witness sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations, now mostly outside the capital.
The International Federation for Human Rights says around 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the violence first broke out on February 14, 2011. - AFP