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Bahrain Bodybuilder Jailed for Democracy Protests

Three dedicated sportsmen including a championship bodybuilder have been sentenced to a year in jail for their part in the pro-democracy protests in the Gulf state of Bahrain.

The three, who are all part of the country's majority Shi'ite community, were handed the sentence by a military court after the pro-democracy movement was crushed by military and state security forces earlier in the year. The three were found guilty of illegal congregation, inciting hatred for the system, and not obeying orders regarding involvement in politics.

Bodybuilder Tareq al-Fursani has previously won gold medals in several Asian bodybuilding championships, while co-defendant Ali Said was a goalkeeper in the national football team, and Mohammed Hassan al-Dirazi was a member of the national basketball team. All three have been given leave to appeal against their sentences, which were issued by a military court because they are themselves employed by the Bahrain Defence Forces.

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