Middle East

Bahrain frees detained rights activist: lawyers

Riot police fire tear gas at Bahraini anti-government protesters in Ma'ameer, Bahrain, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

DUBAI: A prominent Shiite rights activist in Bahrain who was arrested in connection with anti-government protests was released on Wednesday, his lawyers said.

Mohammed al-Maskati was taken to a Manama police station on Tuesday where he was questioned about his alleged role in Friday protests, said his lawyers.

Maskati, the president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, denied taking part in the demonstrations and was subsequently released, they said.

On Friday, riot police and hundreds of Shiite protesters clashed on the outskirts of the capital, Manama.

The protesters, some of them chanting "the people want the fall of the government," tried to gather in several parts of the capital after a call sent out by Shiite-led youth activists.

The interior ministry said "saboteurs" threw Molotov cocktails at the police, who responded with tear gas.

A separate demonstration called by Al-Wefaq, the main Shiite opposition group, took place without any incident at a thoroughfare west of Manama.

Demonstrations are common on Fridays in Bahrain since it was shaken by a short-lived Shiite uprising against the kingdom's ruling Sunni regime last year.

The International Federation of Human Rights says 80 people have died since the start of the revolt last February. The interior ministry says 700 people have been wounded, including police.





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