Bahrain king pardons political prisoners

February 22nd, 2011 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Manamma, Feb 22 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The king of Bahrain agreed to pardon political prisoners, but rejected other demands by protesters, a government source told RIA Novosti Tuesday.Thousands of mainly Shiite protesters have been camped out in Manama and other cities since Jan 14, demanding more political representation in the country, which is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy. At least five people were killed and 230 injured in the protests.

“King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a decree Monday evening to pardon convicted opposition activists,” the government source said.

The king, however, rejected other demands, such as dismissing the government and amending the constitution.

“We do not agree with demands of government dismissal and constitutional amendments. The authorities have already met many demands by the opposition,” the source said, adding that the authorities were ready to conduct “peace dialogue, to allow Shiites and Sunnis to live in peace and accord, as they used to.”

Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa last week offered the opposition to start national dialogue to restore peace. However, thousands of people continue protesting on downtown Pearl Square in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, demanding the “end of the regime”.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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