Bahraini court hands long jail terms to 31 protesters

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The group was charged with attempted murder and setting a police car ablaze, in addition to rioting and possessing petrol bombs, their lawyers, who requested anonymity, said on Sunday. 

The defendants, however, have denied the charges and said they had been tortured into making confessions, AFP reported. 

Bahrain has handed long jail terms to anti-regime protesters as part of its crackdown on protests since the beginning of demonstrations in the Persian Gulf country. 

A military court in 2011 sentenced prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and opposition leader Hassan Mushaima to life imprisonment for participating in demonstrations against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty. A civilian court upheld the sentences in September 2012. 

The Bahraini uprising began in February 2011. The Manama regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests, calling in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states. 

Bahraini protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically-elected government is met.