News / Middle East

Bahraini Opposition Leader Detained in Lebanon

A Bahraini man in Manama passes by an image of Shiite leader Hassan Meshaima, crossed out with a paint roller by authorities, February 24, 2011
A Bahraini man in Manama passes by an image of Shiite leader Hassan Meshaima, crossed out with a paint roller by authorities, February 24, 2011

An exiled Bahraini opposition leader who was pardoned by the country's king has been detained in Lebanon.

Lebanese officials said Thursday they are seeking legal documents related to the status of Hassan Meshaima. The Shi'ite activist, who is a leader of the Bahraini opposition group Haq, arrived in Lebanon on Tuesday. Earlier this week, he vowed to end his self-imposed exile in London and return to Bahrain.

Meshaima is among a group of about two dozen Shi'ite activists who were pardoned by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on Tuesday, along with several hundred prisoners. The activists were on trial for allegedly plotting against the Gulf state's minority Sunni rulers.

Meanwhile, the French News Agency (AFP) says hundreds of anti-government protesters marched from Manama's Pearl Square towards the central part of the capital on Thursday. The news agency said some demonstrators carried empty coffins in remembrance of protesters killed in earlier unrest.

Also, the top U.S. military officer arrived in Bahrain on Thursday for talks with the country's leaders. The visit is part of a regional tour by Admiral Mike Mullen.

On Wednesday, thousands of anti-government protesters were on the streets in Bahrain. Some cheered the government's decision to release the prisoners, including the Shi'ite activists. King Hamad's pardon was a gesture toward opposition activists who have been demanding the government's resignation and democratic reforms.

Bahrain protest video footage:

 

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