25 Dec '11, 3am

Straits Times - #Bahrain to drop free-speech cases after protests

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Bahrain said on Saturday it would drop charges against 343 people whose offences were linked to free speech, but the opposition said that was just a portion of those detained on such accusations during pro-democracy protests this year. The Sunni-led Gulf kingdom, under pressure to improve its rights record to secure a United States (US) arms deal, has said it would follow the recommendations of a state-appointed commission which found evidence of widespread abuse in the crackdown against the protests by majority Shi'ite Muslims. The measure, part of a review of action by military courts set up after Bahrain announced martial law in March, applies to 43 cases and 343 defendants, public prosecutor Ali al-Buainain told the state news agency BNA. 'However, other cases will remain pending because they involve crimes of violence and sabotage against people and ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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