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Bahrain Releases Opposition Lawmakers

Bahrain's government has freed two former lawmakers from the Shi'ite opposition, state media report, as well as several other people arrested in a crackdown on rising antigovernment activity there.

Jawad Fairouz and Matar Ibrahim Matar plead not guilty to charges last month.

They resigned from parliament after the government launched a crackdown on the mainly Shi'ite-led uprising, which was inspired by months of antigovernment activity in the Arab world.

Over 1,000 people died in the violence.

Shi'a account for some 70 percent of the population in the kingdom, host to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.

The release of prisoners comes after the country's Sunni monarchy enacted a series of political reforms laid out by a national dialogue committee, a move condemned by the opposition as a farce.

compiled from agency reports