Human rights groups are sharply criticizing a Bahraini appeal court's ruling upholding a nine-year prison sentence against the country's leading Shiite opposition figure.
Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy were among the groups condemning Monday's verdict against Sheikh Ali Salman. He is secretary-general of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain's largest Shiite political group.
Amnesty's Mideast Deputy Director of Campaigns Samah Hadid says the ruling shows "Bahrain's flagrant disregard for the right to freedom of expression."
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