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Bahrain Fines Newspaper Staff For False Reports


A court in Bahrain has fined the chief editor of one of the kingdom's leading independent newspapers and three of his colleagues for publishing false reports about abuses during a crackdown on Shi'ite-led protests earlier this year.

The court on Tuesday found the four from Al Wasat newspaper guilty of disseminating misleading news and fined them about $2,650 each.

Editor-in-chief Mansoor al-Jamri had admitted to mistakenly publishing false information, but said plotters in Saudi Arabia had deliberately deceived his newspaper by providing the fake information.

The journalists' trial is part of the Bahraini government's broad crackdown on perceived dissent. Rights groups say hundreds of people are on trial in what they call a revenge move by the kingdom's Sunni rulers, who put down anti-government protests led by the country's Shi'ite majority.

The trial for the journalists was one of only a few cases placed before a civilian court instead of a special military tribunal.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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