Bahrain’s prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been taken to hospital from prison following the deterioration of his health in solitary confinement.
The Bahrain Mirror, a website close to the opposition, said Tuesday that Rajab was hospitalized in a military health facility in Manama.
Rajab was arrested on June 13 following an intensive search of his house in the northwest of the country. His detention was extended on June 21. Reports suggest he has been subjected to harassment in jail. He is the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and has played a major role in leading the popular protests in the country over the past five years.
The family of Rajab blamed the regime in Manama for the deterioration of his health, saying the decision to put him in solitary confinement had no justification. They said the regime should be held accountable for repeated reports of harassment against Rajab in jail.
The arrest of Rajab, as an internationally-respected figure, sparked condemnations around the world. Last week, lawmakers in the European Parliament called for the release of the rights activist, dropping of all charges against him, and lifting the travel ban that was previously imposed on him.
Supporters of Rajab said he had an irregular heartbeat when he was taken to hospital. They said he was “in isolation for 15 days.”
Bahrain has seen an escalation in the regime’s crackdown on dissent over the past few weeks. Manama first suspended the country’s main opposition group al-Wefaq before it stripped top Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim of his citizenship.
On Tuesday, a top court in Manama sentenced 11 people to three to 15 years in jail. Bahrain’s criminal court said the people were convicted of carrying out attacks against security forces during protests in a neighborhood of Manama in February 2015. They were also convicted of possessing explosives and stirring public disorder. Six of the convicts were slapped with 15-year jail terms, according to a local newspaper.