Bahrain Shiite opposition leader loses appeal against life sentence

Sheikh Ali Salman was convicted in November of “communicating with Qatari officials... to overthrow constitutional order.” (File/AFP)
Updated 28 January 2019
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Bahrain Shiite opposition leader loses appeal against life sentence

  • Bahrain and Qatar have been locked in a bitter regional dispute since June 2017

DUBAI: Bahrain’s supreme court, whose verdicts are final, on Monday upheld a life term for Shiite opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman for spying for Gulf rival Qatar, a judicial source said.
Salman, who headed the Shiite Al-Wefaq group, was convicted in November of “communicating with Qatari officials... to overthrow constitutional order.”
Salman’s aides Ali Al-Aswad and Hassan Sultan, who had been sentenced to life in absentia, also lost their right to appeal. Both men are former MPs and currently reside outside of Bahrain.
Qatar has repeatedly denied accusations of conspiring against Bahrain with Salman.
Bahrain and Qatar have been locked in a bitter regional dispute since June 2017, when a Saudi-led boycott of Doha was enforced over allegations it was cosying up to regional arch-rival Iran and supporting radical Islamist groups.
Ruled for more than two centuries by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, Bahrain has been hit by waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed Shiite-led protests demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.
Bahrain’s two main opposition groups — Al-Wefaq and the secular Waad — are prohibited from representation in parliament.
Bahraini authorities accuse Shiite Iran of provoking unrest in the kingdom. Tehran denies the allegation.
Human rights groups have frequently said cases against activists in Bahrain — men and women, religious and secular — fail to meet the basic standards of fair trials.


White House: Trump spoke to Libyan commander Haftar on Monday

Updated 22 min 16 sec ago
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White House: Trump spoke to Libyan commander Haftar on Monday

WEST PALM BEACH: The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Monday to Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar and discussed "ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya."
The statement said Trump "recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system."
On Thursday, mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of Tripoli, almost hitting a clinic, after two weeks of an offensive by Haftar's eastern troops on the Libyan capital, which is held by an internationally recognized government.