Bahrain arrests main Shia opposition leader

Bahrain arrests main Shia opposition leader
Bahrain’s main opposition group says its leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, has been arrested after hours of interrogation.

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The Bahraini Interior Ministry said in a statement issued earlier that Salman was questioned about “violating certain aspects of the law,” but did not go into any further details.

The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society said on Sunday that its leader was arrested after 10 hours of questioning by criminal police.

Salman was re-elected on Friday as leader of the Shia opposition group.

His lawyer, Abdullah al-Shamlan, said that Salman had been accused of “inciting hatred against the regime and for calling for its overthrow by force.”

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Protesters, holding placards with an image of Al Wefaq Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Salman, shout anti-government slogans as they gather outside Salman's home, in the village of Bilad Al Qadeem, south of Manama, December 28, 2014 (Reuters / Hamad I Mohammed)

Al-Wefaq said that the detention of its leader is “a dangerous adventure that will complicate the political situation in Bahrain.”

The majority of Bahrain’s population are Shias, but the oil-rich Gulf kingdom is ruled by a Sunni minority.

In July, a Manama court suspended al-Wefaq’s activities so that it could correct its legal status, and later banned all of its activities in October. In November, the opposition movement said it was boycotting parliamentary elections.

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