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Bahrain jails 'protest' medics

Bahrain's special security court has sentenced a protester to death for killing a policeman, and jailed doctors and nurses who treated injured protesters during the uprising earlier this year, a lawyer said.

Lawyer Mohsen al-Alawi said the tribunal, set up during Bahrain's emergency rule, convicted and sentenced 13 medical professionals each to 15 years in prison.

In addition, two doctors were sentenced to 10 years each while seven other medics got shorter prison terms of five years each.

The harsh sentences suggest the Sunni authorities in the Gulf kingdom will not relent in pursuing those they accuse of supporting the Shiite-led opposition and participating in dissent that has rocked the tiny island nation.

Earlier this year, the same special court sentenced two other protesters to death for killing a police officer in a separate incident.

Mr al-Alawi said the 22 medical professionals, who were charged with various anti-state crimes, and the protester who got the death sentence, can appeal against the verdicts.

Hundreds of activists have been imprisoned since March when Bahrain's rulers imposed martial law to deal with protests by the country's Shiite majority demanding greater rights and freedoms.

More than 30 people have been killed since the protests began in February.

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