The highest court in Bahrain sentenced 19 people with jail terms after they were convicted of acting as the IRGC and Hezbollah arm in the country.
According to the Bahraini News Agency (BNA), the Court of Cassation sentenced eight of those convicted to 25 years each in prison, nine to 15 years, and two to ten years for “communicating with a foreign country and a terrorist organisation”. Fifteen of the 19 sentenced were also stripped of their Bahraini citizenship.
The defendants were initially convicted of the charges in late 2017, but were able to appeal the sentences.
According to the BNA, investigations had proven that the convicts, all of members of Bahrain’s Al-Wafaa group, had “plotted to form a secret cell with the intention of inciting the Bahraini public against the regime”.
A Bahraini Shia movement, Al-Wafaa has been designated a “terrorist group” by the Bahraini authorities.
Al-Wafa cell members had been working directly with the IRGC and their Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, who provided them with financial support, training and technical support. The Khomeiniist regime has, for decades, worked to destabilize the governments of Persian Gulf countries via sectarianism. Though many Bahraini Shi’a have lived peacefully, Tehran has successfully recruited the firebrands among the community in order to cause instability and conflict.