23 August 2012

A Bahrain appeal court today cleared human rights activist Nabeel Rajab of charges of libelling the citizens of the town of Muharraq on Twitter, his lawyer Mohamed Al-Jishi announced.

Reporters Without Borders notes the decision but points out that Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Gulf Center for Human Rights, has already been in prison for two of the three months to which he was sentenced on July 9. Furthermore, charges of participating in three illegal demonstrations, for which he received a three-year sentence on 16 August, still stand. His appeal in that case is due to be heard on 10 September.

Many supporters of the activist and representatives of foreign embassies attended today’s hearing. Rajab, who was allowed to speak, criticized the poor prison conditions, saying he was held in solitary confinement and subjected to physical and psychological torture.

Reporters Without Borders urges the Bahraini authorities to withdraw all the charges against him and to release him immediately. The international community must put pressure on the kingdom with this in view.