Bahraini demonstrators attend a protest against the revocation of the citizenship of top Bahraini Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: A Bahraini court jailed six activists for life and two for 15 years on Wednesday after convicting them of spying for Iran, a judicial source said.

The criminal court also stripped all eight of their citizenship, the source added.

The court also found them guilty of “joining a terrorist group, possessing arms, ammunition and explosives,” and training in their use, the source said.

In recent weeks, Bahrain has carried out an intensifying crackdown against leading figures from the kingdom’s activist community.

Manama has repeatedly accused Iran of fanning persistent unrest among the the Shiite community since security forces quelled protests for a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister in 2011.

Scores of activists have been jailed on charges of involvement in the unrest.

Authorities have stripped at least 261 Bahrainis of their citizenship since 2012, according to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

They include the kingdom’s Shiite spiritual leader, Sheikh Isa Qassim.

Activists have said that those left stateless are usually given a one-year passport and a travel ticket to a foreign country.