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Jun 22, 2011 9:58 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Protests hit Bahrain after activists sentenced

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Witnesses say Bahrain security forces have fired tear gas at protesters after a security court sentenced eight Shiite activists to life in prison.
Witnesses say marchers were trying to reach a central square in Bahrain's capital Manama, which was once the hub of their protests for greater rights in the Gulf kingdom. It was the first significant effort by protesters in months to return to the streets.
The court Wednesday issued life sentences against eight Shiite activists and long jail terms for 13 others after convictions on seeking to overthrow the ruling system. Fourteen of the defendants were in custody, and the others were sentenced in absentia.
Bahrain's majority Shiite claim widespread discrimination by the Sunni monarchy.

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