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Bahrain’s Supreme Court upholds life term for Shiite opposition leader Salman

Bahrain’s Supreme Court, whose verdicts are final, on Monday upheld a life term for Shiite opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman who had been convicted of spying on behalf of Gulf rival Qatar, AFP reported, citing a judicial source. Salman, who headed the Shiite Al-Wefaq group, was convicted in November of “communicating with Qatari officials… to overthrow constitutional order,” a ruling which rights groups have called a travesty. 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. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have banned their citizens from traveling to Qatar.