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Court adjourns trial of Bahraini rights activist until September

2 August 2016 16:47

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A Bahraini court has postponed the trial of Nabeel Rajab until September as the prominent human rights campaigner remains behind bars over online comments deemed insulting to the Al Khalifah regime and Saudi Arabia.

The court hearing on Rajab’s case, which was planned to be held on Tuesday, was delayed until September 5, manamapost.com reported.

Meanwhile, an  unnamed judicial source said that a request by Rajab’s defense team to free the activist because of his health situation was rejected on Tuesday. However, a doctor will check up on the 51-year-old Bahraini campaigner in jail, the source added.

Rajab, who has been repeatedly detained for organizing anti-regime demonstrations and publishing posts critical of the ruling dynasty, was pardoned for health reasons last year, but he was rearrested in June.

He was briefly hospitalized over health problems a few days after his detention, but the court ordered that he remain in custody throughout the trial.

Rajab will be tried over tweets he posted in March 2015 criticizing Manama’s involvement in the deadly Saudi aggression against Yemen and torture at Bahrain’s notorious Jaw Prison.

The activist faces charges of “insulting a statutory body, insulting a neighboring country and disseminating false rumors in time of war.”

Rajab faces up to 12 years imprisonment over his critical tweets, according to Human Rights Watch, an international rights organization.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has seen a wave of anti-regime protests since mid-February 2011.

The Al Khalifah regime is engaged in a harsh crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country’s Shia majority.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others wounded or detained in Manama’s ongoing repression of free speech.

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