Bahrain frees detainees including ex-MPs after unrest

August 7, 2011 21:38

DUBAI - Bahrain has released a group of detainees, including two former members of parliament, charged over anti-government protests in the Gulf state earlier this year, opposition sources and state media said on Sunday.

Those released included Jawad Fairouz and Matar Ibrahim Matar, former MPs from the Sunni-ruled kingdom's largest Shi'ite opposition group Al-Wefaq, a member of the bloc said.

"I saw them and embraced them," said Al-Wefaq member Sayed Hadi al-Mousawi. The bloc's MPs quit parliament after Bahrain called in troops from fellow Sunni-led kingdoms to help crush the Shi'ite-led protests in February and March.

Bahrain has sentenced eight opposition members to life imprisonment over the protests, which demanded an end to the discrimination which Bahraini Shi'ites say they face, and called for a constitutional monarchy. A few Shi'ite groups sought the monarchy's abolition.

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