Op­po­si­tion fig­ure faces jail

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

A Bahraini court sen­tenced the coun­try’s lead­ing Shi­ite Mus­lim op­po­si­tion fig­ure to four years in prison amid a crack­down on dis­sent in the is­land king­dom.

Sheik Ali Sal­man, a key fig­ure in the 2011 upris­ing against the Sunni Mus­lim 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 se­cu­rity forces.

How­ever, the court found Sal­man not guilty of the most se­ri­ous charge, in­cit­ing vi­o­lence and call­ing for the over­throw of the monar­chy, which car­ried a po­ten­tial life sen­tence. His de­fense lawyer, Ab­dul­lah Sham­lawi, said Sal­man can ap­peal.

Sal­man, 49, sec­re­tarygen­eral of the We­faq po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion group, was ar- rested in late De­cem­ber. The charges against him stem from speeches he made from 2012 to 2014.

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