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.

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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