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Bahrain releases prominent activist Nabeel Rajab -lawyer

by Ivey Manifold (2020-07-13)

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

DUBAI, June 9 (Reuters) - Bahrain has released prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab after a court agreed to pass an alternative sentence to the jail term he is currently serving, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Rajab, an outspoken critic of the Bahraini government who played a prominent role in pro-democracy protests in 2011, is serving a five-year sentence over social media posts criticizing Saudi Arabia's air strikes in Yemen.

Bahrain introduced new legislation in 2018 allowing its courts to convert jail terms into non-custodial sentences. Hundreds of prisoners have been released but Rajab is the only major opposition and activist figure that has been freed so far.

"The court has finally agreed to grant Nabeel Rajab an alternative sentence," his lawyer Mohamed Al Jishi told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear what the alternative punishment would be for Rajab but authorities said non-custodial sentences include community service, electronic monitoring and repairing criminal damage.

Rajab was sentenced in 2018 over social media posts criticizing Saudi Arabia's air strikes in Yemen and accusing authorities of torture.

He was convicted of "spreading false news and rumours in time of war", "insulting foreign countries" and "insulting publicly the interior ministry", according to a court filing by his lawyers during his trial.

If you have any questions regarding where and how to make use of the defenders. fight criminal charges in las vegas. (702) 333-3333. experienced attorneys fight your criminal charges, you could call us at our web page. In his mid-50s, Rajab has been in jail since 2016 and served another two-year term for torture allegations he made in a news interview. He also faces a number of other cases, including over a column he wrote in the New York Times.

Bahrain, led by a Sunni Muslim royal family, has been clamping down on dissent since 2011 when it quashed the Arab Spring-like protests, led mainly by Shi'ite Muslims, with the help of Saudi Arabia.

Home to the U.S. Navy´s Fifth Fleet, the small Gulf kingdom prosecuted and revoked the citizenship of hundreds of people in mass trials and banned leading opposition groups. Most of the main Shi'ite opposition figures and human rights activists are imprisoned or have fled the country.

The government denies repressing the opposition and says it is protecting national security from groups it calls terrorists backed by Iran. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Alex Richardson, William Maclean)