Exiled opposition leader to return to Bahrain

February 21, 2011 21:05

MANAMA, Bahrain— A prominent opposition figure accused by Bahrain of plotting against the state plans to return from London, an aide said Monday, in a move that could bolster protesters and force authorities into difficult choices.

Hassain Meshaima, head of a group known as Haq, is scheduled to arrive late Tuesday as the embattled monarchy tries to engage demonstrators in talks aimed at easing the week-long series of clashes and marches that have deeply divided the strategic Gulf nation.

A rights activist and supporter, Abbas Omran, confirmed Meshaima's plans, but gave no further details on his objections once he returns after eight months in self-exile.

Meshaima is considered by Bahrain's officials as a potential enemy of the state. He and another London-based opposition leader is being tried in absentia among a total of 25 Shiite activists accused of plotting to overthrow Bahrain's Sunni rulers.

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