Tortured Bahraini photographer freed, victory for campaigners

Demonstration to free Bahraini photographer Ahmed Fardan

From the BBC:

Bahrain releases photojournalist Ahmed Fardan

10 January 2014 Last updated at 14:06 GMT

The authorities in Bahrain have released a photojournalist who was detained last month, officials say.

Amnesty International said Ahmed Fardan was tortured during interrogation after being held on a charge of “intending to participate in gatherings”.

The public prosecutor had ordered that he be detained for 45 days pending investigation on 1 January.

However, a government spokeswoman said Mr Fardan had been freed two days after a campaign demanding his release.

The photojournalist was reportedly arrested by plainclothes security personnel during a raid on his home in the village of Abu Saibah, west of the capital Manama, on 26 December.

He was then “held incommunicado at the Criminal Investigations Directorate in Manama, and during his interrogation was beaten until he passed out”, having suffered two broken ribs, according to Amnesty.

The human rights group said Mr Fardan, who worked for the agencies Nur Photo, Demotix and Sipa, was detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Reporters Without Borders is relieved by yesterday’s announced release of Ahmed Al-Fardan, a photojournalist who had been held arbitrarily in deplorable conditions since 26 December. He is nonetheless still facing prosecution on a charge of “trying to participate in an illegal demonstration”: here.

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