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Lawyer: Sentence reduced for Bahrain activist

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December 11, 2012 05:27 AM EST | AP


MANAMA, Bahrain — A defense lawyer says a Bahrain appeals court has reduced the prison sentence of a prominent human rights activist from three years to two.

Tuesday's decision is certain to prompt fresh outrage from international rights groups and others who have been demanding the release of Nabeel Rajab.

Rajab was convicted on allegations of encouraging illegal protests in the strife-wracked Gulf nation.

His attorney, Mohammed al-Jishi, says the court dropped the charge of insulting police.

Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, is among dozens of high-profile prisoners from crackdowns during a 22-month uprising by the country's majority Shiites.

The protesters seek a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. More than 55 people have died in the unrest.