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Riot police stop and check vehicles in Daih, Bahrain, on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, where Bahraini anti-government protesters tried to organize a march despite a government ban on protests. A heavy police presence prevented protesters from gathering, and police chased and used tear gas to disperse small groups as they emerged.

Hasan Jamali, Associated Press - Ap

Rights activist detained in Bahrain

  • Associated Press
  • November 3, 2012 - 3:07 PM

MANAMA, Bahrain - A defense lawyer in Bahrain says a prominent human rights activist is in custody after defying an official ban on protest gatherings in the Gulf kingdom.

The detention of Yousef al-Muhafedha could further embolden Shiite-led demonstrators seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi says authorities Saturday decided to keep al-Muhafedha in custody for at least week while prosecutors study possible charges.

Al-Muhafedha, detained late Friday, has led the Bahrain Center for Human Rights its head, Nabeel Rajab, was arrested earlier this year and is appealing a three-year sentence for allegedly encouraging protests in the nearly 21-month-old uprising.

Bahrain's decision last month to outlaw protests has brought sharp criticism from rights groups and allies including the U.S.

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