Bahraini court jails anti-regime activists

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A Bahraini special court jailed Sunday the head of the teachers’ union for 10 years and his deputy for three, among other Shiites over their role in anti-regime protests, BNA state news agency said. The verdicts came a day after the kingdom held by-elections boycotted by the Shiite-led opposition to replace 18 Shiite MPs who quit the parliament to protest the violence used against demonstrators in February.
Mahdi Abu Deib and Jalila al-Salman were convicted by the court of national safety of “calling to forcefully overthrow the regime in union statements,” BNA said. They were also accused of “promoting hatred to the regime and spreading false news,” it added. BNA claimed that the pair used the union to “instigate acts that are considered criminal like calling for sit-ins by teachers, obstructing teaching, holding protests near schools… and calling upon parents not to send their children to school.”
The court was established after King Hamad declared a semi-emergency law in mid-March, a day before quashing a month-long pro-democracy protest, also sentenced other Shiites to prison.