The head of a European Parliament human rights delegation has called on the Bahraini regime to free political prisoners.
During a Thursday visit to the Bahraini capital Manama, Inese Vaidere called on Bahraini officials to release all â€œprisoners of conscienceâ€ to soothe political tensions in the country.
Vaidere further said the European delegation paid a visit to imprisoned opposition leaders, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been sentenced to life in prison.
The European teamâ€™s visit to Bahrain comes nearly a week after the Bahraini prince called for dialogue with the opposition on December 5, saying only talks could solve the political unrest in Bahrain.
The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011.
The Manama regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.
Dozens of people have lost their lives in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including rights activists, doctors and nurses.
Bahraini demonstrators say they will continue holding anti-regime protests until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.