Bahrain opposition: Free prisoners before talks

AP News
Posted: Mar 19, 2012 8:41 AM
Bahrain opposition: Free prisoners before talks

Bahrain's main opposition groups say authorities must free all political prisoners before possible talks on ending the 13-month uprising in the Gulf kingdom.

Monday's statement appears to show some willingness to open dialogue with Bahrain's Sunni monarchy, which has faced near-nonstop protests by majority Shiites seeking a greater political voice.

But the declaration set strict conditions, including release of activists jailed on anti-state offenses and reinstatement of all Shiites purged from jobs.

Bahrain's leaders have taken strides to restore dismissed workers and made other concessions, but not enough to satisfy protesters.

More than 45 people have died in Bahrain's unrest since February 2011.