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Thu 23 Mar 2017 02:28 PM

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Bahrain releases award winning photographer

Mohammed Al-Shaikh was held for more than 24 hours over his work for AFP, according to his family

Bahrain releases award winning photographer

Bahraini authorities on Thursday released award-winning photographer Mohammed Al-Shaikh after holding him for more than 24 hours over his work for AFP, according to his family.

Relatives of Al-Shaikh, who worked for AFP in Bahrain for several years until his press permit was denied renewal last August, had been detained at Manama airport late Tuesday on his return from a trip overseas.

His family said he does not face charges.

Bahraini authorities did not respond to AFP's requests for an explanation for his arrest.

Al-Shaikh won the 2014 Bayeux-Calvados prize for his coverage of events in the tiny Gulf kingdom, rocked from 2011 onwards by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising and ensuing crackdown.

Rights groups regularly criticise the Sunni-ruled kingdom over its harsh treatment of dissenters.

Last year saw a further tightening of restrictions on journalists. Authorities refused to issue visas or renew accreditations for reporters working for foreign outlets.

Nazeeha Saeed, a journalist working for France 24 and Arabic radio station Monte Carlo Doualiya, is currently on trial for working "without the necessary authorisation".