A lawyer says Bahraini courts have sentenced six people to a year in prison on charges of making Twitter posts deemed offensive to the Gulf nation's king.

The convictions Wednesday are part of wider crackdowns across Gulf Arab states against perceived dissent expressed on social media, including imposing tougher media laws.

Lawyer Shahzalan Khamis says the prosecution claimed the six suspects violated laws with posts critical of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. No other details on the posts were made public.

Bahrain has been gripped by more than two years of unrest between the Sunni-led government and the kingdom majority Shiites seeking a greater political voice.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.