Bahrain drops charges, halts trials of athletes

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2011 9:59 AM
Bahrain drops charges, halts trials of athletes

Bahrain has halted trial proceedings for over 100 athletes and dropped all charges related to their participation in street protests against the island's Sunni monarchy.

The athletes were among hundreds detained and put on trial as part of a crackdown on Shiite-led dissent, launched in March. Charges included illegal assembly, inciting hatred against the Sunni monarchy and defaming leaders.

Bahrain News Agency said late Wednesday the king officially "forgave" the athletes who insulted him.

It's unclear what will happen to athletes already convicted.

A medal-winning bodybuilder, a national football team goalkeeper and a Bahrain basketball player were sentenced Sunday to one year in prison each. In June, a Bahraini star football player was sentenced to two years in prison.