Bahrain's top court rejected Monday a request to release Shiite opposition chief cleric Ali Salman, who is serving a nine-year jail term on charges of inciting hatred and forceful regime change.

The head of the Al-Wefaq group had been sentenced in July 2015 to four years in jail after being convicted of inciting hatred in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom.

But the appeals court in May more than doubled his jail term to nine years after reversing an earlier acquittal on charges of calling for regime change by force.

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