The Guardian: Nabeel Rajab Faces Prison for Saying Journalists are Banned from Bahrain
2017-01-28 - 1:51 am
Bahrain Mirror: British daily The Guardian reported that "Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab is facing a lengthy prison sentence simply for stating that journalists and international NGOs cannot enter Bahrain."
The accusation was made at a court hearing on Monday, from which Rajab and his lawyer were excluded. Even though Rajab has been in police custody since June 2016, he was not taken to the courtroom, the Guardian added.
According to the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Monday's court hearing was the first time he, or anyone, had learned of the reasons for those charges.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, BIRD's director of advocacy, says, "Bahrain targets anyone who opposes the regime with arrest and imprisonment, and they ban entry to journalists and human rights groups to stop the story from getting out."
"These are facts, and Nabeel Rajab's prosecution for stating these facts is a disgrace," he went on to say.
The UK foreign office has written to BIRD to say it is following Rajab's case "closely". The letter says: "The UK is working closely with the government of Bahrain to provide extensive reform assistance focused on strengthening human rights and the rule of law."
A campaign group, Bahrain Watch, has compiled a list of journalists, academics and NGO representatives who have been denied entry since 2011. They include correspondents of the New York Times and ITV News.
Rajab faces up to 17 years in prison between both cases. He has been held in pre-trial detention without bail since his June arrest, largely in solitary confinement. Rajab's next court appearance is set for 8 February.
comments powered by Disqus