Bahrain sentences 8 Shiite activists to life

By the Associated Press | June 22, 2011 | 4:59 AM EDT

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain says a special security court has given life sentences to eight Shiite activists accused of plotting to overthrow the state.

The Bahrain News Agency says the life sentences were issued Wednesday against prominent Shiite political leader Hassan Mushaima, Shiite activist Abduljalil Al Singace and six others.

The report says pro-reform figure Ibrahim Sharif received five years and others sentences ranged from two to 15 years.

A total of 21 suspects were on trial — 14 in custody and the rest in absentia.

Bahrain has waged a sweeping crackdown on Shiite-led protesters seeking greater rights from the Sunni monarchy.