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Sun 8 May 2011 06:35 PM

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Bahrain to lift state of emergency on June 1

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issues decree to bring martial law in kingdom to an end

Bahrain to lift state of emergency on June 1
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain. (Getty Images)

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Sunday issued a decree which will lift the country's state of emergency on June 1.

Royal Decree 39 will be implemented by the Prime Minister, the Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), National Guard Chief and ministers, state news agency BNA reported.

Bahrain banned protests when it imposed martial law in March and invited troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbours to help quash weeks of protests by pro-reform demonstrators.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested since then while many more have been sacked from government jobs and state-linked companies, rights groups claim.

At least 29 people, all but six of them Shi'ites, have been killed since the protests started in February, inspired by Arab revolts against autocratic rule that toppled the rulers of Egypt and Tunisia.

The six non-Shi'ites killed included two foreigners - an Indian and a Bangladeshi - and four policemen.

Four activists have also been sentenced to death for the killing of two policemen, while a further three were handed life sentences.

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