02 August 2012

On 5th August, a Bahrain court will hear an appeal by the activist Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, against the conviction and three-month jail sentence imposed on him last month for posting messages on Twitter that were alleged to be libellous. At the same hearing, the court will consider another case against him for participating in illegal demonstrations, originally due to be heard on 26 September.

Pending the appeal verdict in a few days’ time, Reporters Without Borders deplores the authorities’ harassment of Rajab and expresses concern about the position of human rights campaigners in Bahrain.

“We urge the Bahraini justice authorities to drop the charges against Nabeel Rajab and call for his immediate release,” the press freedom organization said. It condemned the crackdown on dissident voices and called on the international community to step up the pressure on the kingdom.

Rajab was found guilty of libelling the citizens of the town of Muharraq. In his tweets he accused the prime minister – who was visiting the town — of corruption and called on him to resign, saying the people had welcomed him only because they had been offered subsidies.

rsf.org