Bahrain’s police boosted security measures amid protests against a court’s decision to sentence six Shia civilians to death, local media reported.

On Monday, the military tribunal for the first time sentenced to death six civilian Shias accused of an attempted murder of a security officer. The Shia opposition called the verdict a “politically motivated reprisal” adding that the defendants’ confessions were obtained with a resort to tortures.

Police vehicles are patrolling Shia quarters in Bahrain’s cities and villages while local residents are burning tires and shouting officers to leave the area, the Al Oula media outlet reported. In some areas police used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Since 2011, the Sunni authorities in Bahrain have been facing a struggle with an opposition movement led primarily by Shias, who form the majority in the country. The opposition calls for political freedom, equality and a parliamentary system that operates independently of Bahrain’s Sunni royal family.

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