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Rajab’s detention shows Manama’s contempt for human rights: HRW

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab (C) and his daughter Malak leave a court building in the capital Manama after attending his appeal hearing on February 11, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Human Rights Watch has stressed that Nabeel Rajab’s arbitrary detention by the Manama regime shows its contempt for the most fundamental human rights.

On Wednesday, the prominent rights group also noted that the detained Bahraini activist’s health has severely worsened since his imprisonment 10 months ago.

“Filing criminal charges against Nabeel Rajab solely for his peaceful criticism and then refusing to free him while the courts cavalierly postpone hearings shows Bahrain’s contempt for the most elemental human rights,” said the deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, Joe Stork.

Earlier in the month, Rajab was rushed to hospital due to complications following a surgery after which he had been immediately sent to solitary confinement.  

“Nabeel Rajab should not be in jail, and his deteriorating health underscores the injustice of arbitrarily detaining him,” he added.

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Rajab is being held in detention, pending trial on alleged charges of insulting the Bahraini ruling dynasty. He has been arrested multiple times in recent years over anti-regime protests in Bahrain. The activist was pardoned for health reasons in 2015 before being rearrested in June 2016. He is currently on trial for tweets and statements deemed insulting to the Manama and Riyadh regimes.

“The silence on Bahrain’s flagrant disregard for human rights from London, and now from Washington under Trump, is nothing less than shameful,” added Stork.

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