Bahrain jails 29 for trying to reach uprising hub

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A defense lawyer in Bahrain says 29 protesters have been sentenced to one month in prison for trying to enter a heavily guarded area that was once the center of the Gulf nation’s anti-government uprising.

The court decision comes as some opposition groups, inspired by Egyptian crowds that helped topple President Mohammed Morsi, are calling for stepped-up protests.

Lawyer Mohamed al-Wasti said Friday the group was convicted of trying to bypass security cordons last year to reach Pearl Square, the hub of protests in early 2011.

Al-Wasti said the protesters plan to appeal Thursday’s court ruling.

Bahrain has faced nearly 29 months of unrest as Shiite-led protesters seek a greater political voice in the strategic Sunni-ruled kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

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