A well-known Bahraini insurgent was sentenced to a year in jail on Wednesday year for incitement against the kingdom’s ruling system but dropped a more serious charge of promoting political change by illegal ways, a judicial official said.
Ibrahim Sharif, the former secretary general of the National Democratic Action Society that participated in the 2011 protests was convicted on a charge of inciting hatred. The court dismissed a charge Sharif faced accusing him of promoting the toppling of Bahrain’s government.
The public prosecution, in a statement on social media stated that a suspect was convicted of “insulting the constitutional system in the country and mocking it” but cleared him of calling for regime change in violation of the constitution.
However, the prosecutor general said he was disappointed with the decision of the High Criminal Court and raised the possibility of an appeal to the Court of Cassation on the more serious accusation.
“The prosecution is currently studying the reasons for the ruling to acquit the suspect of some charges and to look into the possibility of appealing it if legal basis were found for that,” the prosecution said.
Sharif was released in June last year by royal pardon after serving more than four years in jail for his role in protests demanding political reforms in Bahrain. He was Waad leader at the time of his arrest in March 2011.
The Gulf island nation, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has witnessed turmoil-stirring movements since protests in 2011 that had a sectarian agenda and was backed by Iran.
In a speech to Muslim scholars, newspaper editors and members of the Shura council this week, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa announced a series of measures to limit what he described as the expansion of Iranian-inspired militancy in Bahrain.
Those encompassed setting up a committee to monitor financial transaction of individuals and organizations, restricting citizens aged between 14 and 18 from conflict zones and protecting places of worship “from religious and political extremism and incitement”.