Bahrain teachers' union chief and deputy jailed

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Bahrain’s National Safety Court sentenced the chairman of the teachers’ union and his deputy, both Shiite Muslims, to prison for encouraging anti-government protests, the state-run Bahrain News Agency said.

Mehdi Abu Deib and Jalila al-Salman were convicted of using their position at the union to instigate anti-regime acts such as sit-ins and demonstrations, urging the “forceful ouster” of the regime and broadcasting false statements, BNA said. Mehdi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and al-Salman to three.

Seven other people were sentenced to 15-year jail terms for cutting the tongue of an Asian muezzin who calls for prayer, the agency said.

Another four were jailed for between one and three years for hiding two wanted people, and one got three years for failing to report the running over of two policemen.

Bahraini authorities detained hundreds of people, most of them Shiites, following a crackdown on protesters who held rallies in February and March to demand representative government.

At least 35 people were killed during the clashes. The country’s population is majority-Shiite while its hereditary rulers are Sunni.

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