Manama Bahrain’s High Criminal Court, under a new anti-terror law, has stripped nine accused men of their citizenship for taking part in terror-related activities.

“This is the first court ruling under the new anti-terror law on protecting society from terrorist activities,” Public Attorney Wael Bu Allay said. “The court has stripped the nine accused after convicting them of forming and joining a terrorist group, and training and receiving training on use of weapons and explosives. The Public Prosecution had charged them with conspiring with other parties working for the Iranian Republic and forming a terrorist cell with the aim of subverting Bahrain’s security and stability.”

The nine were among a group of 14 people accused of setting-up a terror group to smuggle weapons inside Bahrain. The High Criminal Court sentenced them on Wednesday to between five and 15 years.

The convicts were also indicted on charges of plotting to derail and disrupt the law through terror, inciting on terrorist crimes and attempting to murder and on-duty police officer, Bu Allay said in a statement carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

“The convicts have also been charged with setting-up the terror cell to help a group of detainees held in custody at the Dry Dock detention Centre in connection with criminal cases break from the jail and escape out of Bahrain. The fourth Instance of the High Criminal Court has acquitted one suspect and dropped certain charges leveled against two others”, he said.

“The other counts of charges include possession of weapons and ammunitions and explosives and training on using firearms in camps located in Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran with the aim of undermining Bahrain’s vital interests,” he said.

The Public Prosecution based its charges on the convicts’ confessions, the technical reports and DNA tests, he added. The anti-terror law was amended last year following a recommendation from the bicameral parliament to toughen up measures to fight acts of terror and potential threats to the country.

However, under the law, the king has to approve the court decision to strip any accused of his or her nationality ahead of its implementation.

Those who lose their citizenship lose their legal residency status in the country and must leave to avoid deportation.