Pro-democracy protests in Manama centred around the now demolished Pearl roundabout monument [Reuters]
Bahrain's military prosecutor has accused 21 pro-democracy activists of seeking to overthrow the Sunni Muslim monarchy with the help of a foreign "terrorist group".
The charges, to be laid out before a military court on Sunday, are an apparent reference to Iranian-backed groups allegedly supporting the island nation's Shia Muslim majority.
The trials are part of efforts by the authorities to prosecute opposition leaders and others after months of clashes and protests in the kingdom which hosts the US Navy's 5th Fleet.
Ibrahim Sharif, a Sunni and head of the secular leftist Wa'ad Party, is set to be tried first. Others may also go on trial on Monday.- Advertisement -
Most of the protest leaders have been in military custody at Sheikh Issa Airbase south of Manama, the capital, since 17 March, sources told Al Jazeera.
Late last month, a special security court set up under martial law sentenced four Shia men to death for killing two policemen in the unrest.
The latest cases were tried by the same court, according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency.- Advertisement -
Fourteen members of the group are in custody, including several prominent Shia political figures. The others are charged in absentia.
The allegations include seeking to topple the 200-year-old monarchy and having links to "a terrorist organisation abroad working for a foreign country". (See full article HERE)