A court in Bahrain has adjourned to May 14 the hearing of the jailed human rights activist and opposition figure, Nabeel Rajab, amid international outcry over his continued detention and the Al Khalifa regime’s crackdown on opponents.
On Monday, Bahrain’s court of appeals decided to postpone the trial of the 51-year-old director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and a co-founder of the [Persian] Gulf Center for Human Rights, Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.
Manama’s prosecutor, Nawaf al-Avazi, said in a statement on April 26 that Rajab was remanded in custody for a further two weeks, pending conclusion of more inquiry.
Avazi said Rajab is charged with “spreading tendentious rumors” about Bahrain’s support for Saudi Arabia in its military aggression against Yemen, and “attacking a state institution.”
Rajab’s family, however, say he was arrested on April 2 for allegedly posting comments on Twitter denouncing torture in a regime detention center where Shia activists are held. Bahrain first extended Rajab’s period of detention for 15 days on April 11.
Rajab was sentenced in January to six months in prison for posting tweets deemed critical of the Al Khalifa regime. He was initially awaiting the result of an appeal in that case on May 4.
Bahrain has been witnessing protests on an almost daily basis against Al Khalifa regime since early 2011, when an uprising began in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom. Since then, thousands of protesters have held numerous rallies in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the royal family to relinquish power.
The Manama regime has been severely criticized by human rights groups for its harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, which has claimed the lives of scores of people so far.