Bahrain releases ‘Blogfather’ after US criticism


MANAMA – Bahraini authorities on Friday freed Internet blogger Mahmood al-Yousif, also known as the “Blogfather”, whose arrest drew criticism from the US State Department, the official news agency BNA said.A government spokesman cited by BNA said Yousif was questioned on Thursday but gave no further details.
The United States has criticised the arrest, while also renewing its condemnation of violence in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom where Shiite-led protests broke out in mid-February. “We’re deeply concerned about his arrest. He’s a prominent and respected blogger,” Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said on Wednesday.
“We’re also concerned about reports of the detention of two other Internet activists who have expressed their views on recent events in Bahrain,” Toner said. “We hope that the Bahraini government’s decision to arrest bloggers and Internet activists will not make it more difficult to resume a national dialogue,” he said. Yousif himself tweeted early on Wednesday from his home that he was being arrested.