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Four American journalists arrested in Bahrain charged, released

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Feb. 16, 2016 at 12:44 PM

MANAMA, Bahrain, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Four Americans arrested in Bahrain charged with unlawful gathering have been released and are planning to leave the country Tuesday, their lawyer said.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry said the four Americans, three men and a woman, are journalists who entered the country on tourist visas with plans to involve themselves in anti-government demonstrations. The woman was identified as Anna Therese Day, a freelance journalist who has worked for CNN, The New York Times and CBS, among other media outlets.

The four were arrested Sunday at a demonstration marking the fifth anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising in the pattern of the 2011 Arab Spring in Sitra, Bahrain. The 2011 revolt left 35 people, including five police officers, dead. About 3,000 people were arrested, with many receiving long prison terms.

A statement by Bahrain's public prosecutor said "security authorities detained four U.S. nationals during the incident as a result of their involvement in the criminal acts, and that one of the individuals was concealing his face at the time of his arrest.

"The individuals were questioned in the presence of lawyers and charged with unlawful obstruction of vehicles and attending unlawful gatherings."

The statement said the Americans were immediately released, though it remained unclear if they were free to leave the country. Their lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, said they would leave the Bharani capital, Manama, for Dubai on Tuesday evening.

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