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Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain Rights Activist, Reportedly Beaten By Police

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In this photo taken March 22, 2011, Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, second right, helps carry the casket of Bahia al-Aradi, 51, who was shot in the head as she approached a checkpoint, during her funeral in the capital of Manama, Bahrain. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali) | AP

MANAMA, Bahrain — A lawyer for a prominent human rights activist in Bahrain says his client has been hospitalized after a beating by police at an anti-government protest.

Nabeel Rajab is the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. His lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, says the activist was "beaten brutally" by members of the security forces during a rally on Friday in the capital, Manama.

He says policemen hit Rajab on the head and face with sticks and kicked him.

The government says in a statement that police found Rajab "on the ground, injured while participating in an unauthorized march" in Manama.

Bahrain's Shiite majority started campaigning for greater rights from the Sunni monarchy last February.

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