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Bahraini Court Fines Four Editors Accused of Publishing Lies

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Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Bahrain’s High Criminal Court fined four editors from the independent newspaper Al-Wasat who were accused of publishing falsehoods in connection with anti-government protests, said its editor-in-chief, Mansoor al-Jamri.

They were ordered to pay fines of 1,000 dinars ($2,652) each, al-Jamri, who is among the four, said in a telephone interview. He said the newspaper itself was convicted of printing false information from March 25 to 29. The dates coincided with part of a government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, most of them Shiite Muslims.

Prosecutors accused al-Jamri of publishing false stories to incite fellow Shiites to rise against the Sunni Muslim-led government. Al-Jamri said the information was planted into the newspaper’s computer system and published inadvertently.

Bahraini authorities detained hundreds of people, most of them Shiites, following protests to demand representative government and more rights. At least 35 people were killed during the clashes. Bahrain’s Shiites represent about 70 percent of the population, according to the U.S. State Department, and have long demanded rights equal to those of Sunnis, including appointments to senior government and military posts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Manama at dabunasr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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