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Bahrain releases blogger after US criticism

Posted by on April 1, 2011 0 Comment

Bahraini authorities on Friday released popular Internet blogger Mahmood al-Yousif, whose arrest drew criticism from the US State Department, state news agency BNA said.

A government spokesperson cited by BNA said Yousif was questioned on Thursday but gave no further details on his case.

The United States on Wednesday criticized the arrest, while also renewing its condemnation of violence in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom where Shia-led protests broke out in mid-February.

“We hope that the Bahraini government’s decision to arrest bloggers and Internet activists will not make it more difficult to resume a national dialogue.”

Yousif was already being sued by Bahraini Minister for Municipal and Agricultural Affairs Mansur bin Rajab for libel.

He had lashed out at bin Rajab in his blog, “Mahmood’s Den,” for saying that his ministry did not shirk its responsibilities following floods in December.

The blog describes itself is “an Arab man’s attempt at bridging the cultural gap. Trying to make a difference, failing a lot, succeeding once in a while.”

At least 24 people, including four policemen, have been killed in a month of protests, according to Bahraini officials. Toner said US officials “condemn the violence against civilians and peaceful protestors” in Bahrain. Agencies

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