TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A senior Bahraini political activist slammed Manama for its recent move to sentence six citizens to death on political grounds and said the Al Khalifa regime is exploiting the regional situation to impose security restrictions and clamp down on the country’s people.

“Today, the Al Khalifa regime is exploiting the situation of the region and the turmoil in countries like Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and the siege of Qatar, and is trying to create security conditions in Bahrain,” Yousef Al-Houri said in an interview with the Press Shia News Agency.

He also said the sentences have been issued during the last days of 2017, when many countries as well as human rights organizations are celebrating the New Year, so that they draw little condemnation.

A Bahraini military court handed down the death sentences on Monday and revoked the six people’s citizenship for “forming a terror cell, attempting to assassinate Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and committing other acts of terror.”

The King of Bahrain in April ratified the constitutional amendment giving the military judiciary vast authorities, including trying civilians.

Bahraini authorities claim that this law is meant to combat terrorism, yet it brings back the same approach of military courts upon which authorities tried people by virtue of the martial law imposed by the king in March 2011.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.