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ANHRI calls on the release of all Bahrain’s Political Prisoners

Bahrain: Following release of Rajab, ANHRI calls on the release of all prisoners of conscience
Cairo – 28 May, 2012

ANHRI welcomes the Bahraini Lower Criminal Court’s ruling releasing Nabeel Rajab, prominent human rights activist and head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Rajab, banned from travelling on court’s ruling, was released on bail of 300 dinars (approx. $796), awaiting his trial June 17.

The Bahraini authorities have accused Rajab of “gathering” and “calling for an unlicensed march in Manama”. The Court postponed the trial to June 17, as it is deliberating another case against Rajab in which he is accused of “declining to leave the gathering location following a dispersal order” and “calling for unlawful marches”.

The same court had decided earlier this month to release him on bail of 300 dinars and banned him from traveling on a third case in which he is accused of “insulting statutory body in public on Twitter”.
The Bahraini authorities have arrested Rajab upon arrival at the Manama airport from Beirut in early May, and accused him of all the charges listed above on the grounds of his human rights contribution home and abroad, and his constant criticism of the ongoing repression in Bahrain.

Rajab and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights have been subject to harassment because of their human rights work and use of the Internet to express opinions and expose the human rights violations of the Bahraini. He had been harassed several times before for the same reason.

As ANHRI welcomes Rajab’s release, it reiterates its call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release all political detainees, if they are serious and sincere abot their reformist vows. Political prisoners in Bahrain are estimated to be 700 thus far, including the senior Bahraini activist Abdul-Hadi al-Khawaja, who is still in detention amid serious concerns for his life. Al-Khawaja went on a hunger strike in prison since February 8, protesting against the life imprisonment sentence handed to him because of his peaceful exercise of freedom of expression. His life is endangered that the authorities have refused the calls of civil society and human rights organizations to release him. …source

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