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4 American Journalists Released Following Arrest in Bahrain

  • VOA News

A prison van believed to be carrying some of the four detained American journalists leaves the Public Prosecution offices in Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 16, 2016.

A prison van believed to be carrying some of the four detained American journalists leaves the Public Prosecution offices in Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 16, 2016.

Four American journalists charged in Bahrain have been released and are due to fly out of the country, their lawyer said Tuesday.

The journalists, arrested on Sunday, had been charged earlier in the day with illegally assembling with the intent to commit a crime.

Police said the woman and three men entered the country last week and performed journalistic activities without permission from authorities "in addition to carrying out illegal acts."

The journalists went to Bahrain to cover the anniversary of the tiny island's pro-democracy protests that were crushed by authorities five years ago. They were arrested Sunday in the Shi'ite town of Sitra during clashes between protesters and security forces.

Lawyeral-Jishi, who is representing four U.S. journalists, speaks to journalists as he leaves the Public Prosecution offices in Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 16, 2016.

Lawyeral-Jishi, who is representing four U.S. journalists, speaks to journalists as he leaves the Public Prosecution offices in Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 16, 2016.

Protests by the country's majority Shi'ite opposition have persisted since the 2011 uprising, which came amid the wave of pro-democracy movements in other Arab countries.

Demonstrators have demanded democratic reforms and an end to what they say is the discrimination by Bahrain's Sunni rulers.

Bahrain, an important U.S. ally, is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and is part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State militant group.

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