July 14 - A Bahraini female poet is among an undisclosed number of political prisoners released from jail. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amateur video shows crowds cheering as a female poet in Bahrain is released from prison. On Wednesday the government released a number political prisoners, in the same week that the opposition threatened to quit a national dialogue. It is unclear how many prisoners were released. Ayat Al Qurmizi, became a symbol of resistance when she was detained for reciting an anti-government poem to protesters. SOUNDBITE: Poet Ayat Al Qurmizi, saying (Arabic): "To be totally honest, I didn't expect the situation outside to be like this. In prison we hardly got any news and we very rarely heard about what's going on outside, on occasions, family members would feed us information, but I didn't expect it to be like this," Al Qurmizi said. Bahrain's Sunni rulers crushed weeks of pro-democracy protests led mostly by the Shi'ite majority in March. After a crackdown, the government launched a national dialogue July 2 in an effort to lay the groundwork to heal a growing sectarian divide and address calls for reform. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.