Bahrain opposition leader gets life sentence

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Shiite cleric who was a central figure in Bahrain's 2011 Arab Spring protests has been sentenced to life in prison on spying charges.

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals came after Sheikh Ali Salman was acquitted by a lower court in June.

Salman headed the Al-Wefaq political group, which was the tiny Gulf nation's largest Shiite opposition bloc. The group was ordered dissolved in 2016 as part of a crackdown on dissent in the kingdom, which is majority Shiite but ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency reported the court's decision Sunday without naming the defendants, saying three individuals were found guilty of spying charges.

Human Rights First, an activist group, confirmed the ruling refers to Salman and two other al-Wefaq officials.