Bahrain’s supreme court, whose verdicts are final, on Monday upheld a life term for Shiite opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, a judicial source said.
Sheikh Salman, who headed the Shiite Al-Wefaq group, was convicted in November of “communicating with Qatari officials… to overthrow constitutional order”, a ruling rights groups have called a travesty.
Salman’s aides Ali al-Aswad and Hassan Sultan, who had been sentenced to life in absentia, also lost their right to appeal. Both men are former MPs and currently reside outside of Bahrain.
Human rights groups have frequently said cases against activists in Bahrain — men and women, religious and secular — fail to meet the basic standards of fair trials.
“This verdict is a travesty of justice that demonstrates the Bahraini authorities’ relentless and unlawful efforts to silence any form of dissent,” Amnesty International said in a statement last November, commenting on the first verdict against Sheikh Salman and his two aides.
“Sheikh Ali Salman is a prisoner of conscience who is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty added in its statement.