Bahraini security forces keep watch during clashes with Shiite protesters in the village of Malikiyah on January 7, 2013
Bahraini security forces keep watch during clashes with Shiite protesters in the village of Malikiyah on January 7, 2013. A Bahrain court has released leading Shiite rights activist Yousif al-Muhafda on bail while his trial continues over charges of spreading false news to harm security, according to Amnesty International. © Mohammed al-Shaikh - AFP/File
Bahraini security forces keep watch during clashes with Shiite protesters in the village of Malikiyah on January 7, 2013
AFP
Last updated: January 18, 2013

Bahraini court bails rights activist

A Bahrain court has released leading Shiite rights activist Yousif al-Muhafda on bail while his trial continues over charges of spreading false news to harm security, Amnesty International said.

Muhafda, who is the acting deputy head of the local non-governmental organisation, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was released on bail of 100 dinars ($265/198 euros), Amnesty said late on Thursday.

He should return to court on January 29 when witnesses are expected to testify, it said.

Muhafda was arrested on December 17 in Manama while he was taking pictures of clashes between police and protesters, on the day he tweeted a picture of an injured protester.

On December 20, the public prosecution reportedly claimed that publishing the picture resulted in "protests and acts of sabotage that disrupted security and order on the same day," said Amnesty.

He has been charged with spreading false news with the intention of causing damage to state security, it said.

The Gulf state has been shaken by unrest since its forces in March 2011 crushed a month of popular Shiite-led protests demanding greater rights and an end to what they said was discrimination by the Sunni royal family.

The International Federation for Human Rights says 80 people have died since the start of the Arab Spring-inspired uprising on February 14, 2011.

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