Bahrain releases 23 political prisoners

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Wednesday, 23 February 2011


bahrain_releaseBahraini officials have released 23 political activists as protesters stage pro-democracy demonstrations in the Persian Gulf state on a daily basis.Jassem Hussein, an opposition lawmaker from the Islamic National Accord Association, told AFP on Wednesday that the prisoners of conscience have been freed.
Bahraini authorities have described the move as a gesture of goodwill. The political activists had been granted a royal pardon by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on Monday.

The decision came in response to numerous calls for the release of political prisoners and is viewed as Bahraini monarch's latest bid to ignite talks to end a standoff with the opposition.

The political prisoners had been detained on charges of formation of an illegal organization and dissemination of misleading information.

This is while thousands of Bahraini pro-democracy protesters camped out in Manama's Pearl Square, which has become the symbol of the popular drive for change on Tuesday night and staged a vigil.

Demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom and a say in the government are met.

Meanwhile, exiled leader of the opposition Haq movement, who had been scheduled to arrive from the United Kingdom to join Tuesday's demonstrations, has not returned home.

Hassan Mashaima had flown from London to Doha, Qatar, but then flew on to Beirut, Lebanon. It was not immediately clear what caused Mashaima to delay his return to the Persian Gulf country.

"We now expect him to come tomorrow to Bahrain," a member of Haq party, Mohsen al-Moqdad said late on Tuesday.

At least seven people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries in the days of violent government crackdown on Bahrain's pro-democracy protesters

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Bahraini authorities have described the move as a gesture of goodwill. The political activists had been granted a royal pardon by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on Monday.

The decision came in response to numerous calls for the release of political prisoners and is viewed as Bahraini monarch's latest bid to ignite talks to end a standoff with the opposition.

The political prisoners had been detained on charges of formation of an illegal organization and dissemination of misleading information.

This is while thousands of Bahraini pro-democracy protesters camped out in Manama's Pearl Square, which has become the symbol of the popular drive for change on Tuesday night and staged a vigil.

Demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom and a say in the government are met.

Meanwhile, exiled leader of the opposition Haq movement, who had been scheduled to arrive from the United Kingdom to join Tuesday's demonstrations, has not returned home.

Hassan Mashaima had flown from London to Doha, Qatar, but then flew on to Beirut, Lebanon. It was not immediately clear what caused Mashaima to delay his return to the Persian Gulf country.

"We now expect him to come tomorrow to Bahrain," a member of Haq party, Mohsen al-Moqdad said late on Tuesday.

At least seven people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries in the days of violent government crackdown on Bahrain's pro-democracy protesters

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