A Bahraini defense lawyer says a court in the country has convicted 23 Shiites, sentencing one to death and the rest to life in prison over the killing of a policeman last year.

Seven of those convicted are in custody while the rest were tried in absentia, including the man sentenced to death.

Jassim Sarhan, who is defending three of those convicted, told The Associated Press the Higher Criminal Court on Thursday found the 23 guilty of terrorism-related charges, including setting up the explosives that killed the policeman.

He says the court also revoked the defendants' citizenship. They have the right to appeal.

The small Persian Gulf nation has faced low-level unrest since protests erupted in 2011 among the country's Shiite majority demanding greater political rights from the Sunni-led monarchy.