Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bahrain urged to free remaining prisoners of conscience

29 May 2012

"Bahrain must immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said after a court in the capital Manama let the prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab out on bail on Monday.

The Bahraini authorities have banned Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, from travelling abroad and he is due to return to court in June on charges related to his activism – which Amnesty International says should be dropped.

Also on Monday, jailed human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja ended a 110-day hunger strike. Al-Khawaja and 12 other opposition leaders remain behind bars on charges related to their roles in peaceful pro-reform protests in 2011. Amnesty International considers all of them to be prisoners of conscience.

“The ongoing detention and trials of these prisoners of conscience shows that behind Bahrain’s thin veneer of reform, little has changed in practice and the human rights crisis is far from over,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Director.

“The Bahraini authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all remaining prisoners of conscience, drop the charges against those awaiting trial for peaceful protest and lift the travel ban on Nabeel Rajab.”....."

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