Jailed Bahraini human rights activist waits in legal limbo

Jailed Bahraini human rights activist waits in legal limbo
Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been awaiting the verdict of his trial since his arrest in June for posting tweets criticising Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen.
3 min read
06 October, 2016
Nabeel Rajab faces 15 years in prison for

Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab who faces 15 years in prison for criticising Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen must wait three more weeks for the verdict of his trial.

The chief director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights was due to hear his fate on Thursday.

But the 51-year-old, who was arrested in June as part of an intensifying crackdown on government critics, will remain detained until 31 October.

His son Adam Rajab tweeted: "The judge was supposed to sentence my father #NabeelRajab today but he postponed it until the 31st of October #Bahrain."

"My father should be released pending trial, he has been in detention for more than 100 days," he added.

Nabeel Rajab's Twitter posts accused the Bahraini security forces of torturing detainees and killing civilians in the Gulf bloc's military intervention in Yemen.

He was first arrested on 2 April 2015, and pardoned in July of the same year.

But prosecutors did not close the case and ordered his re-arrest on June 13, 2016.

In his current trial, that has been condemned by human rights groups and the US, Rajab faces multiple charges of "insulting a statutory body", "insulting a neighbouring country", and "disseminating false rumours in time of war".

Last month, Rajab was reportedly placed in solitary confinement at East Riffa Police Station.

The last time Rajab was held at East Riffa police station, he required urgent medical care after 15 days in isolation. His relatives are concerned that his health will decline again.

"It's been over 100 days since Nabeel was arrested and charged and am very worried about his well-being," his wife Sumaya Rajab told freedom of expression campaigners Index on Censorship.

The organisation said Rajab was held in a "filthy cell".

"He has not been given a reason for his transfer, and when he tried to ask a police officer, he was screamed at and insulted," it reported.

"He has been treated harshly and sent back to a place where he suffered complete isolation in facilities not fit for purpose."

Requests by Rajab and his lawyer to be transferred to a detention centre have been reportedly denied.

Bahrain has been shaken by unrest since security forces crushed protests by the Shia majority demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister in 2011, resulting on a crackdown on critics of the kingdom

Rajab has has been repeatedly detained for organising protests and publishing tweets deemed insulting to Bahrain's Sunni-dominated authorities.

He was placed on a travel ban in 2014 and has been unable to leave the country.