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Activist: Prominent Bahrain blogger arrested

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July 31, 2013 10:20 AM EST | AP


MANAMA, Bahrain — A rights activist in Bahrain says authorities have arrested a prominent blogger just days after warning of harsher measures against anti-government protesters in the violence-wracked Gulf kingdom.

Bahrain's king earlier this week endorsed parliamentary calls to ban demonstrations in the capital Manama and impose tough punishments such as stripping citizenship for those convicted of violence. Security forces also have warned of a strong response to plans for major protest marches Aug. 14.

Yousef al-Muhafedha, acting president of the Bahrain Human Rights Center, says blogger Mohamed Hassan was arrested early Wednesday. Hassan also worked as an assistant to various foreign journalists visiting Bahrain.

Bahrain has been gripped by near nonstop unrest since February 2011 when majority Shiites began an uprising for a greater political voice in the Sunni-rule nation.