Middle East

Bahrain releases photojournalist Ahmed Fardan

A child calls for the release of Ahmed Fardan at a protest in Bahrain (3 January 2014) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Amnesty said Ahmed Fardan was held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression

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".

On 1 January, the public prosecutor ordered he be detained for 45 days.

A campaign demanding his release was subsequently launched by activists and on Friday a government spokeswoman confirmed he had been released.

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.

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