Bahrain sentences medics who treated protesters
A court in Bahrain has sentenced 20 medics accused of plotting to overthrow the government by treating protesters to up to 15 years in prison, BBC reported.
In a separate case, the special security court sentenced a protester to death for killing a policeman.
The medics had been released on bail after many staged a hunger strike.
They treated people injured when a protest movement calling for more rights for the country's Shia majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom was crushed.
Human rights activists say the sentences against the medics come as a surprise.
They had been cautiously hopeful that the medics' release on bail was a sign that the government was softening its approach.
The Bahraini doctors and nurses were sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison on charges that include inciting the overthrow of the government and provoking sectarian hatred.
Human rights activists say they were only doing their duty.
The medics were also accused of refusing to treat injured security officials.
Their families said in June that they were tortured into making false confessions.
A wave of mostly peaceful protests swept the country in February and March, but they were put down by force by the government, which called in troops from neighbouring Gulf states.
However, skirmishes are reported regularly as protesters try to keep their movement alive.
On Wednesday, the security court upheld life sentences for eight Shia activists convicted over their alleged role in protests.
It also upheld sentences of up to 15 years on 13 other activists.