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Bahrain activists get 10 years for protests

Thirteen pro-democracy activists have been sentenced to 10 years in jail in Bahrain over allegations they attacked police officers in the latest fallout from protests that rocked the country more than two years ago.

MANAMA // Thirteen pro-democracy activists were sentenced to 10 years in jail in Bahrain yesterday over allegations they attacked police officers in the latest fallout from protests that rocked the country more than two years ago.

Meanwhile, a rights group has expressed fears about a father and daughter who have been on hunger strike since March 17 to protest their detention in the Gulf nation. They had stopped taking water Sunday but resumed late on Tuesday.

More than 60 people have been killed in more than two years of unrest inspired by the Arab Spring. Bahrain's Shiite majority is seeking a greater political voice in the strategic Sunni-ruled kingdom, which is home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

An attorney Jassim Sarhan confirmed the 13 were sentenced on Tuesday over charges they attacked two police officers and set fire to a police car. They are among dozens convicted of playing a role in the uprising.

In the case of the hunger strikers, Freedom House said in a statement it was "deeply concerned" for Zainab Al Khawaja and her father Abdulhadi Al Khawaja. They went on "dry hunger strike" on Sunday after being denied a family visit in prison, it said.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights said doctors warned Zainab Al Khawaja that she risks "organ failure, cardiac arrest or coma" if she continues.

Al Khawaja was sentenced to three months for insulting a public employee related to her calls for the release of her father, and eight opposition figures given life sentences. Last year, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja went on a three-month hunger strike.

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