Leading human rights activist re-arrested in Bahrain

Leading human rights activist re-arrested in Bahrain
Bahraini police detain prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a raid on his home early on Monday morning, his family said.
2 min read
13 June, 2016
Rajab was detained in 2014 over tweets deemed insulting to the authorities [Nur]
Prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was rearrested from his home in Bani Jamra village near Manama on Monday, his family has said.

The 51-year-old, who was detained in 2014 over tweets deemed insulting to the authorities before his release on health grounds, was apprehended during a home raid by Bahraini security forces.

"Rajab was arrested from his house and his house was searched," his wife Sumaya Rajab tweeted.

During the raid, police seized electronic devices and other items from Rajab's home, according to the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.

It was not immediately clear why police detained Rajab, who heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

His detention comes just days after Zainab al-Khawaja, another prominent activist recently released from prison, fled the island nation for Denmark over fears of being imprisoned again.

The arrest also comes ahead of a planned UN meeting on human rights, said Brian Dooley, director of the Washington-based group Human Rights First.

Other activists were prevented from leaving Bahrain to attend the conference in Geneva, Dooley added.

"Nabeel's arrest is a forceful, frightening message from the Bahraini government that it's moving against even activists with strong international connections," Dooley said in a statement.

Also on Monday, an appeals court in Bahrain upheld jail terms of between 10 and 15 years against 11 Shia defendants convicted of forming a "terrorist group" that planned attacks against police and the Saudi embassy in Manama, a judicial source said.

It also confirmed a previous criminal court order to revoke their citizenships, the source said.

Rights groups say Bahrain has detained scores of opponents of the kingdom's Saudi-allied Sunni rulers, often sentencing them to long jail terms.

A court in May more than doubled the jail sentence against opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, who is now set to serve nine years in prison for charges of inciting violence.

Agencies contributed to this report.