Bahrain Shiite opposition leader sentenced to 4 years

first_imgMANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A Bahraini court sentenced the country’s leading Shiite opposition figure to four years in prison on Tuesday amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent in the tiny island kingdom.Sheikh Ali Salman, a key figure in the 2011 uprising against the Sunni monarchy, was convicted of insulting the Interior Ministry, which oversees police, inciting others to break the law and inciting hatred against naturalized Sunni citizens, many of whom are of South Asian descent and serve in the country’s security forces. Sponsored Stories However, the court found Salman not guilty of the most serious charge he faced, which was inciting violence and calling for the overthrow of the monarchy, which carried a potential life sentence. His defense lawyer, Abdullah al-Shamlawi, said Salman can appeal.Salman, 49, is the secretary-general of the al-Wefaq political opposition group and was arrested in late December. The charges against him stem from speeches he made between 2012 and 2014.Al-Wefaq says his words were taken out of context. His group criticized the verdict.“Keeping Ali Salman in jail means delaying any political solution to come and reflects the government’s rejection to a political solution,” al-Wefaq member Khalil Marzooq said.Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, sees near-daily protests backed by the country’s Shiite majority, who demand greater say in the government.Al-Wefaq is among Bahrain’s most vocal and organized opposition groups. The group, which boycotted last year’s parliamentary elections, is demanding greater power-sharing between elected lawmakers and the monarchy, the release of political prisoners and a prime minister chosen by elected officials. Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Salman’s case has attracted international attention, including criticism from Shiite powerhouse Iran. The European Union warned his arrest could jeopardize the already-difficult security situation in Bahrain. The U.S. has urged that he be tried in a just and transparent way.The government accuses the opposition of repeatedly rejecting offers to hold a national dialogue.___This story has been corrected to show Salman’s age is 49, not 59.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img

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