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Insult charges for Bahraini opposition leader

Head of Al Wefaq Shia bloc is accused of insulting authorities through "Revolution Museum" that was displayed in Manama.

Last Modified: 03 Nov 2013 15:19
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An exhibition organised by Bahrain's opposition group displayed scenes from the 2011 uprising [AP]

The head of Bahrain's main opposition group Al Wefaq has been charged with insulting authorities through an exhibition that showed alleged abuses against anti-government protesters.

Al Wefaq's lawyer Hadi al-Musawi said Ali Salman was not jailed after being charged and was allowed to return home following questioning.

Sunday’s charges against the head of the Shiite bloc Al Wefaq came just hours after a court sentenced four suspects to life in prison for alleged ties to Shia armed factions and acting as spies for Iran.

It is unclear whether Salman will face trial, which could touch off wider clashes. Prosecutors have the option of not bringing the case to court.

Riot police last week raided the museum-style hall opened by Al Wefaq that included depictions of alleged torture and attacks against protesters since the uprising began in February 2011.

Authorities said the displays incited "hatred" even though most of the scenes had been reported in international media or in a government-backed report on the unrest in late 2011.

Earlier on Sunday, a criminal court issued life sentences against four Shia activists and 15-year prison terms against six others who were charged with links to Iranian intelligence agencies and plotting attacks in Bahrain, lawyer Zainab Zwayed said. Fourteen defendants were cleared.

Bahrain accuses Iran of aiding the 32-month uprising by the kingdom's Shias against the ruling Sunni dynasty. Iran denies the accusations.

The claims by Bahrain have been echoed by other Gulf Arab nations that fear Iran seeks to destabilise their countries.

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