Key Shi'ite opposition leader to return to Bahrain

February 26, 2011 11:46

BEIRUT  — A prominent Shi'ite opposition leader will return to Bahrain after months of voluntary exile in London.

Hassan Mushaima's return could mark a new phase for the anti-government movement pressing for more political freedoms in the Gulf nation. He is head of a Shi'ite group known as Haq, which is considered more hard-line than the main Shi'ite political bloc that has so far led the protests.

Mushaima said he expects to arrive in Bahrain Saturday afternoon on a flight from Lebanon.

He was among a group of Shi'ite activists accused of plotting to overthrow Bahrain's Sunni rulers.

His return had been stalled when his passport was confiscated in Beirut. But Bahraini authorities suspended the trial this week, and Lebanon returned his passport.

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