Bahrain prosecution refuses to release activist Nabeel Rajab | News | DW | 28.12.2016
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Bahrain prosecution refuses to release activist Nabeel Rajab

Nabeel Rajab has been granted bail as he awaits trial for a series of government-critical tweets. He will remain in custody, however, for questioning in a different case.

Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab was granted conditional release from jail on Wednesday as he awaits the outcome of his trial for spreading false information and encouraging rumors. The human rights advocate, who was originally pardoned for health reasons, was rearrested in June over a series of tweets about Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen's civil war and post allegations of torture by guards at a local prison.

Rajab's lawyer, Jalila Sayed, was able to secure bail for the 52-year-old after successfully arguing that prosecutors could not prove Rajab had control of his Twitter account at the time in question.

"Nabeel is overall weak because of so many health problems he started facing, including heart problems and other physical issues," Sayed told the Associated Press, adding "he's under tremendous stress because of this length of detention."

Bail revoked

Hours later, however, Bahrain's public prosecutor said Rajab would in fact remain in jail for questioning in a different case. The statement did not specify charges, but it is believed that the investigation is linked to two opinion pieces he wrote for France's "Le Monde" and the "New York Times" during his incarceration.

 Rajab's son Adam lamented the decision to keep his father behind bars. "Sadly, my father will not be released," he wrote on Twitter. "Those oppressors already have another case ready for him. They dont want him out."

Pro-democracy organizer

Rajab was a prominent leader of Bahrain's own 2011 Arab Spring protests, which saw 100,000 of Bahrain's 500,000 citizens taken to the streets of the capital Manama to demand more democratic freedoms. The subsequent government crackdown saw four protestors killed. The activist has said he was beaten and threatened by police for his criticism of the Bahraini monarchy.

Before his work to promote the 2011 pro-democracy demonstrations, Rajab was known for founding the Bahrain Human Rights Society and Migrant Workers Protection Group to promote better treatment of migrant laborers in Arab states.

es, ksb/kms (AP, AFP, dpa)

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