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Bahrain pardons prisoners for Eid

Oct. 15, 2013 at 10:38 AM

MANAMA, Bahrain, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The government in Bahrain announced it pardoned more than 200 prisoners convicted on various charges in honor of a religious holiday.

The two-day Muslim holy celebration, Eid al-Adha, ends Tuesday evening. Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa issued a royal decree that pardons 208 prisoners on the occasion.

"The royal gesture, which marks the advent of Eid al-Adha, reflects the king's keenness on providing the pardoned prisoners the opportunity to integrate society anew and participate in their country's construction and development march," the official Bahrain News Agency reported Monday.

BNA did not provide further details about the pardons.

The Sunni-led monarchy is working to address concerns raised by an inquiry probing the government's response to a 2011 uprising. More than a dozen of people died in clashes that coincided with the pro-democracy protests that swept across the region.

A criminal court in Manama last week sentenced nine people to life behind bars for manufacturing explosions in the country. BNA said they were trained to "carry out acts of terrorism so as to scare innocent people and they also raised funds for these purposes."

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