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Bahrain temporarily frees female activist detained on 'terrorism' charges

Ebtisam al-Sayegh has been released from detention [Twitter]

Date of publication: 23 October, 2017

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During her detention, there were concerns that activist Ebtisam al-Sayegh, who is facing "terrorism" charges, had been tortured and sexually assaulted by Bahraini security forces.
A Bahraini female activist and two others have been freed from detention after being arrested on "terrorism" charges.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said on Monday that Ebtisam al-Sayegh had been temporarily freed after being detained since July 3.

The human rights activist was arrested after retweeting a series of posts critical of Bahrain's king and its security agency and charged later the same month with "terrorism".

She was released from a Manama prison late on Sunday pending a trial.

Amnesty International previously warned Sayegh was at risk of torture after she accused Bahraini security services of torture and sexual assault during a previous arrest in May.

The BIRD institute added activists Radhi al-Qatari and Mohamed al-Shakhoori had also been released.

Bahrain's state-run media did not immediately report on the release and the justice ministry has not responded to requests for a comment. 

Bahrain, a small island off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, put down Arab Spring-inspired uprisings in 2011.

The protests were backed by the Shia majority and others, and were aimed at demanded an elected government.

After the protest, Bahrain intensified a crackdown on critics, shutting down two main political groups, revoking the citizenship of the spiritual leader of the Shia Muslim community and jailing rights campaigners.

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