Bahrain: Bailing of human rights activist merely delays decision on unfair charges
News that Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been released on bail is long over-due said Amnesty International today as it called on authorities to drop all charges against him.
Nabeel Rajab was detained over tweets he posted that were deemed insulting to the Ministries of Interior and Defence. Today he was released on bail and his trial was set for January.
“While we welcome that Nabeel Rajab has been released on bail, he should never have been detained in the first place. The Bahraini authorities are merely obfuscating, meanwhile a man’s future hangs in the balance. Rather than this temporary measure, the authorities must immediately drop the charges ,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“Worryingly, we are seeing a return to old ways. The Bahraini authorities have prosecuted a string of activists in recent months in a crackdown on peaceful dissent, leaving little doubt that they have once again shelved reform despite past promises.”
Amnesty International is calling for Bahraini authorities to immediately drop charges against all those being tried for freedom of expression issues, including Nabeel Rajab and fellow activist Zainab Al-Khawaja.
“Prosecuting anyone merely for peacefully expressing their political views is a clear form of repression and a brazen violation of their rights."
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