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Bahrain Charges, Releases Anna Day and 3 Other American Journalists

Four American journalists arrested in Bahrain have been formally charged but released from custody, the kingdom's state-run news agency said Tuesday.

Anna Therese Day and three members of her crew were detained on Sunday while covering the anniversary of Bahrain's 2011 uprising. Day's crew members have not been publicly named.

Image: Anna Day
Anna Day HANDOUT / Reuters

Bahraini authorities initially said one American had joined "rioters" in attacking police and accused all four of falsely claiming to be tourists.

On Tuesday, the state-run Bahrain News Agency said prosecutors investigated the Americans' involvement in "criminal acts" and had charged the four with "unlawful obstruction of vehicles and attending unlawful gatherings."

All four have been released "pending further investigations," the agency added.

A statement issued on behalf of the journalists' families on Tuesday afternoon said the four had left Bahrain and were "in transit."

"We are grateful to Bahraini authorities for their speedy resolution of the issue," the statement said, thanking U.S. officials who had "worked tirelessly to assist the group."

The State Department said it was aware of reports that U.S. citizens were detained in Bahrain and subsequently released but declined to comment further, citing privacy considerations.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and other press-freedom organizations had demanded the immediate release of Day and her crew.