Bahrain man 'sentenced to death for killing policeman'

Bahraini police in Karrana (12 February 2014) Bahrain has been wracked by unrest since protesters took to the streets three years ago

A court in Bahrain is reported to have sentenced one man to death and six others to life in prison for the killing of a policeman a year ago.

Two others were jailed for five and six years for their role in his death.

Mohammed Atef was hit by a petrol bomb during a protest in the village of al-Sahla on the second anniversary of the 2011 pro-democracy uprising.

On the third anniversary on Friday, another policeman was fatally injured by an explosion at a protest in Dair.

And on Sunday, two people were jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of trying to kill police officers.

Lawyer Jassim Sarhan told the Associated Press that the man sentenced to death on Wednesday was a 29-year-old called Maher al-Khabaz, and that he and the other defendants planned to appeal.

Bahrain has been wracked by unrest since protesters began demanding more democracy and an end to what they perceive as discrimination against the majority Shia community by the Sunni royal family.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) says at least 89 people have been killed since the authorities launched a crackdown on the dissent in March 2011, though officials say the toll is lower.

A national dialogue process has reached an impasse, with the opposition claiming the ruling Khalifa family have no intention of making good on its promises of reform, and the government blaming the opposition.

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