MANAMA - Human Rights Watch urged Bahrain on Tuesday to immediately free leaders of last year's uprising after an appeals court ordered a retrial, raising pressure for farther-reaching gestures to defuse resurgent street protests.

Bahraini authorities also heard a call from the UN human rights agency to move a jailed hunger striker to a civilian hospital. Opposition leaders have said the court's gesture was insufficient and street unrest would resume later on Tuesday.

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Majority Shi'ite Muslims, whose unrest is seen by the Sunni ruling elite as a subversive bid to put US-aligned Bahrain under the sway of Shi'ite Iran, complain of discrimination and marginalization in political and economic life.

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