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Bahrain

Bahrain Releases Prominent Human Rights Activist

Bahraini regime has released human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja from detention as she awaits trial, amid international criticism of her treatment, media reports said.

An official with Bahrain’s ministry of interior said a travel ban had been imposed on Khawaja and her lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi and confirmed via Twitter that she had been freed and was on her way home, World Bulletin reported.

Khawaja has joint Bahraini-Danish citizenship and her trial is scheduled to begin on October 1. She was detained on her arrival at the airport on August 30.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement on September 5 that Bahrain’s detention of Khawaja and other political activists was arbitrary and expressed concern that her arrest was linked to her work promoting human rights.

Khawaja’s father, Abdulhadi Abdulla Hubail al-Khawaja, is also a prominent activist for the rights of the Shiite Muslim majority in the kingdom. He has been detained since 2011 and is on hunger strike.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-government protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

One month after the start of anti-regime protests, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.

Human rights groups have voiced concern over the treatment of the Bahraini activists being kept in prisons and the atrocities being committed by authorities and security forces in the government crackdown.

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