Bahrain sentences unrest convicts to life, jail
Manama, October 4, 2011
Fourteen men convicted of the brutal murder of a Pakistani during the unrest have been jailed for life, while 22 Bahrainis who went on the rampage at Bahrain University have been jailed for 15 years.
Pakistani Abdul Malik Ghulam Rasool was dragged from his home and attacked with swords and knives by anti-government protesters in March.
The 34-year-old was beaten to death by an armed mob of up to 50 people before being dumped near a mosque.
His attackers were jailed during a National Safety Court hearing yesterday (October 3).
The mob was also convicted of beating up another Pakistani, Mohammed Khadim Ghulam, at the same spot.
Meanwhile, Six of the convicts of the Bahrain University rampage case were also ordered to pay a collective BD349,300 ($926,000) fine by the National Safety Court yesterday.
Seven of the men were convicted of attempted murder, deliberately damaging the university to halt education, possessing flammable substances, encouraging hatred against the regime and causing fear and alarm among students and parents.
The remaining 15 were convicted of the attempted murder of a military official as he travelled to work.
He was attacked in his car near one of the university gates by the mob armed with metal rods, wooden sticks and knives, who also damaged university buildings and facilities.
In addition, the men were found guilty of an illegal occupation of nearby Hamad Town roundabout 22, clashing with security guards at the university, damaging private cars parked in the university's car parks and inciting hatred against the leadership.
A 16th suspect, Mustafa Salman Jaffar, was cleared of all charges and freed from custody.
Lawyers of the men convicted plan to appeal against the sentence at the High Criminal Appeals Court.
Students caused widescale destruction to university facilities on March 13 during clashes between different groups.
As violence escalated, police were called and officers managed to force demonstrating students to an area outside the university's College of Arts.
Police asked them to leave before withdrawing behind closed glass doors, but the students threw rocks and stones - smashing the doors and injuring those inside.
Students then called for back-up and a group of anti-government protesters from Manama, where demonstrators had already been involved in clashes with police, arrived armed with stones, swords and knives.
Authorities say they moved through the campus towards the Bahrain Teachers College before attacking pro-government students who hid inside the English Language Centre.
Sheltering students barricaded themselves upstairs in the language laboratories and offices using chairs and tables.
Their attackers reportedly used fire extinguishers, metal bars and chairs to break into the director's and staff offices, before setting fire to a classroom and climbing onto the roof to throw rocks at students hiding inside. – TradeArabia News Service