Prominent Bahraini Rights Activist Released Pending Trial
Nabeel Rajab, the prominent Bahraini human rights campaigner, who was in custody for months, has been released pending his trial.
Alalam - Bahrain
Jalila Sayed, the defense lawyer representing Rajab, said the activist was freed on Wednesday after a long court hearing, adding that he will appear again in court on January 23.
Wednesday’s court decision followed requests to release the 52-year-old rights campaigner over health problems.
"Nabeel is overall weak because of… heart problems and other physical issues," Sayed said, adding, "He's under tremendous stress because of this length of detention."
Rajab had been repeatedly detained for organizing anti-regime protests in the Persian Gulf country and publishing online comments deemed insulting to the ruling dynasty.
He was pardoned for health reasons last year but was rearrested in June over tweets he posted in March 2015 criticizing the Manama regime for torturing prisoners at a local jail and for its involvement in the deadly Saudi aggression against Yemen.
According to state media, Rajab is accused of "spreading false news and rumors and inciting propaganda during wartime.”
Last week, the United Nations called on Bahrain to “immediately and unconditionally” release Rajab.
Human Rights Watchdog has also criticized the charges brought against the activist, saying they "inherently violate the right to free expression."
Bahrain, a close ally of the US, has been rocked by a wave of anti-regime demonstrations since mid-February 2011.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or detained amid Manama’s ongoing crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country’s Shia majority, Press TV reported.