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Rights watchdog: release jailed Bahraini opposition leader.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International on Monday demanded Bahrain free prominent opposition figure Sheikh Ali Salman, one day before a court is to release a verdict on charges of inciting violence against authorities, AFP reported.

Salman, a Shiite cleric and chief of opposition al Wefaq Islamic Society, was arrested in December and accused of supporting violent political upheaval and attacks that left 14 policemen dead.

Though Bahraini authorities deny Salman's trial was politically motivated, Amnesty International has criticized the judicial proceedings, saying the cleric is "a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully expressing his views," reported AFP.

Amnesty also denounced Salman's detention as a violation of freedoms of speech and expression.

Salman, who also faces three lesser charges including insulting the Interior Ministry, denies the charges against him. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in jail, according to his defense team.

Bahrain, a Sunni-ruled kingdom, claims it has made political reforms in recent years but rights groups and activists say abuses abound against political opponents like Salman.

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Title Annotation:Sheikh Ali Salman arrested for inciting violence
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jun 15, 2015
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