A Bahraini court has sentenced a secular political leader to a year in prison over a speech he made last year calling for change in the tiny island nation.

Ibrahim Sharif, the former secretary-general of the National Democratic Action Society, was convicted Wednesday on a charge of inciting hatred. The court dismissed a charge Sharif faced accusing him of promoting the toppling of Bahrain's government.

Sharif made the speech in July 2015, just a month after being freed after serving over four years in prison for his role in 2011 protests. The secular, leftist political group Sharif once headed also goes by the Arabic name Waad.

Bahrain's majority Shiites launched the 2011 uprising seeking more political rights in the Sunni-ruled country, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.