Bahrain has released 515 detainees since March, media chief says

May 24, 2011

Bahrain has released 515 detainees since the State of National Safety was declared in March, the head of Bahrain media authority has said.

Some of the detainees have been allowed to go home on humanitarian grounds while others were freed after spending a police custody period following their participation in the unrest that hit the country, Shaikh Fawaz Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa said.

Six women are among those who are held, pending trial, he told editors of the local dailies.

46 medical staff detained

Bahrain is also holding 46 medical staff, 29 on criminal charges and 19 on misdemeanour charges, Shaikh Fawaz said.

Several international organizations have accused Bahrain of arresting doctors for treating injured protestors and of using Salmaniya Medical Complex, the country’s largest hospital, as a bait to round up injured demonstrators.

However, the government has repeatedly rejected the charges, saying that the medical and paramedical staff had been arrested for “criminal” actions and for turning the hospital into a centre for anti-government activities.

Fatima Al Beloushi, the acting health minister, on Sunday reiterated that the hospital was now operating normally and that it was providing care to all patients, regardless of their nationalities or religious affiliations.

Bahrain on Monday lifted the night curfew it imposed in mid-march on wither side of a highway in Manama, citing normal security levels.

The state of national safety, the emergency laws declared also in mid-March following weeks of political turmoil and intense unrest, is to be lifted on June 1, two weeks ahead of the scheduled three-month period.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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