The Bahraini regime extended the detention of senior Human Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab for 15 more days. Manama’s prosecutor said in a statement that Rajab was charged with “disseminating false rumors in time of war” over Bahrain’s participation in the Saudi air offensive against Yemen.
Nawaf al-Avazi said Nabeel is also accused of “insulting a statutory body” and “putting the state institution in danger” by posting online “edited footage from television broadcasts on events in Syria and Palestine”.
Rajab’s wife, however, said on the day of his arrest, April 2, that the rights defender was taken into custody for allegedly posting comments on social media denouncing torture in a regime detention center where activists were imprisoned.
Sumaya Rajab said police officers in 20 vehicles arrived at their house to arrest him, allegedly “for tweets he had made about torture in Jaw prison”.
Rajab, who is the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), said in a video posted on YouTube after his latest arrest that he was the victim of an “attempt by the regime authorities to deprive me of my right to freedom of expression”.
Meanwhile, an international rights group has reported that Rajab is currently being kept in solitary confinement in an unclean cell and is being denied access to newspapers.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders added Rajab is targeted by the Bahraini regime solely for his human rights activities. The Observatory denounced the continued arbitrary detention of the leading Bahraini human rights activist and urged his immediate and unconditional release.
Rajab has been regularly targeted by the Bahraini regime since anti-regime protests broke out against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty in the Persian Gulf country in early 2011. Rajab spent two years in prison from mid-2012 to mid-2014.
Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.
Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.
So far, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.