Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bahrain releases poet who became a symbol of resistance to regime

By Patrick Cockburn

"The 20-year-old Bahraini poet Ayat al-Gormezi, jailed and tortured for reading a poem critical of the government at a pro-democracy rally, has been suddenly released – though her sentence has not been revoked.

The international outcry over the mistreatment of the student, who became a symbol of resistance to the crackdown in the island, probably led the government to free her.

After being initially beaten across the face, she had been lashed with electric cables, kept in a near freezing cell and forced to clean police lavatories with her hands, though her treatment in prison had improved recently.

Ayat was greeted by cheering crowds in her neighbourhood near Hamad town outside the capital after her unexpected release...."

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