human rights

Swedish activist sentenced to 20 years in Bahrain

A Swedish political activist has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a military court in Bahrain, according to the Swedish News Agency TT.

The man, who is 50-years-old and has dual citizenship in both Sweden and Bahrain, was sentenced along with seven others for having kidnapped a police officer.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not, as yet, been able to confirm the sentence and has so far been unsuccessful in gaining access to the activist.

The man is also due to stand trial again, accused of 'terrorist activity' with intent to overthrow the existing regime. If convicted, he could face capital punishment.

Nabil Rajab, the chair of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights denounces the prosecution as politically motivated and describes the trial as a travesty. He also tells TT that the Swede was tortured in prison so that it left marks on his body.

The Bahraini regime has cracked down hard on protesters in the past couple of months, carrying out mass arrests against those who have publicly opposed the regime. Human rights organisations have accused Bahrain of systematic torture. According to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, a total of 31 demonstrators were killed during recent protests.