Bahrain’s decision to uphold a five-year prison sentence against prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab proves that the Al Khalifah regime is unable to advocate human rights, says an activist.
“This is exactly why we want regime change in Bahrain because the Al Khalifah dictatorship has proven once again that [it] is incapable of embracing modern values, modern human rights values and ethics by sentencing Nabeel Rajab to five years] in jail] and then upholding that verdict simply because he had tweeted against the aggressive war, the illegitimate war on Yemen. It is ridiculous. You cannot just put somebody behind bars because he said the war on Yemen is illegitimate,” Saeed Shahabi, a member of the Bahrain Freedom Movement, told Press TV in an interview on Monday.
“So I believe that Nabeel’s continued detention is a travesty of justice, is against any principle of dignity, honor or rule of law. He has done nothing wrong in the eyes of … international law. He has only expressed his opinion freely and he should be allowed and everyone else must be allowed to speak out their minds … So I believe that Nabeel should have been acquitted,” he added.
Bahrain's high court has upheld a five-year jail term against Nabeel Rajab despite calls from rights groups to release him.
On February 21, a court in Bahrain sentenced the distinguished human rights activist to five years in prison over tweets deemed critical of the Manama regime and the deadly Saudi-led war against Yemen.
International rights groups have condemned the ruling and called for the release of the pro-democracy campaigner, who is already serving a two-year jail sentence over a news interview in which he said Bahrain tortured political detainees.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom in mid-February 2011. They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.