A Bahraini court has sentenced more than a dozen people to heavy jail terms in a mass trial as it continues its crackdown against political dissent and opposition.

The convicts, aged between 28 and 59, were accused of forming the al-Basta group and orchestrating a series of bombings in the country, the Bahraini LuaLua TV reported.

Eight of them were handed down life in prison, and nine were sentenced to jail terms between 10 to 15 years.

All of the defendants were charged with having “links” to Iran, plotting to overthrow the Manama regime and disturbing public order.

Fourteen of them were stripped of their nationalities.

Those who were handed down life in prison included Bahraini blogger Ali al-Meraj and the son of noted Bahraini opposition figure, Hussein Abdul Wahab.

Among those sentenced to 15 years in prison, a Bahraini journalist, Mahmoud al-Jazeeri, was included. Also, Sheikh Issa al-Qafas, a Shia cleric, received a 10-year prison term.

According to critics of the Manam regime, the defendants in the mass trial had been victims of torture and were denied the right to legal representation during the investigation period.

Since 2011, when a popular uprising began in Bahrain, the regime has faced popular outrage over its discriminatory policies against the country’s Shia majority.