January 4, 2019 / 10:58 AM / 14 days ago

U.N. rights office tells Bahrain: Release activist Rajab

Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015. REUTERS/Hamad Mohammed/Files

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights office called on Bahrain on Friday to release activist Nabeel Rajab, saying that the upholding of his five-year jail sentence by the top court this week showed “continued suppression of government critics”.

An outspoken critic of the Bahraini government who played a prominent role in pro-democracy protests in 2011, Rajab was convicted in February over social media posts in which he accused the prison authorities of torture and criticised Saudi Arabia’s air strikes in Yemen.

“Monday’s court decision brings into focus the continued suppression of government critics in Bahrain through arbitrary arrest and detention, travel bans, harassment, threats, revocation of citizenship and other means,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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