VIDEO: Washington Calls for Nabeel Rajab’s Immediate Release
2018-02-23 - 8:41 p
Bahrain Mirror: The United States called for the immediate release of the head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, in its latest statement on the recent verdict in which Rajab was sentenced to five years in prison.
During a press briefing, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Thursday (February 22, 2018) that Nabeel Rajab is "a long-time Bahraini human rights activist. He frequently uses his international following, he has a broad international following; his social media platforms, he tweets. He uses those platforms to talk about nonviolent methods of bringing attention to human rights causes around the Gulf."
"Bahrain's high criminal court sentenced him to five years in prison on February the 21st for comments that he posted on his Twitter account. There was an unrelated case, and the Bahraini Court of Cassation upheld a verdict that sentenced him to two years in prison on January the 15th simply for criticizing the Government of Bahrain during foreign television interviews," she added.
"U.S. representatives were able to attend both of those - the hearing and the sentencing - the hearing on January the 15th and the sentencing on February the 21st," Nauert noted. "I want to make it clear that we are disappointed by both of those decisions. The United States Government wants to reaffirm our previous calls for his release."
She further stated that Washington repeatedly expressed concern about those cases. "We continuously - continue to strongly urge the Government of Bahrain to abide by its international obligations and commitments to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression."
Concluding her comments, Nauert said: "We understand that he [Rajab] may be able to appeal the decision of the February 29th sentencing. If he is able to do that, we call upon the government to conduct an appeal in a fair way that provides him his fair trial."
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