Bahrain begins freeing political prisoners - MP

MANAMA Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:37am EST

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MANAMA Feb 23 (Reuters) - Bahrain began freeing political prisoners on Wednesday, including 23 accused of seeking to overthrow the kingdom's Sunni Muslim monarchy, a Shi'ite opposition lawmaker said.

"It is a positive move," Ibrahim Mattar, of the Wefaq party, told Reuters, saying more than 100 prisoners had been released before dawn, but dozens remained in jail. Those released included 21 common criminals, he said.

(Reporting by Cynthia Johnston, writing by Alistair Lyon)

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