Amnesty International Condemns Imprisonment of Bahraini Activist
On Wednesday, Amnesty International called on Bahraini authorities to immediately release Nabeel Rajab, who was sentenced to three months in jail this week for tweets deemed insulting to Sunnis. According to the AFP, Ann Harrison of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program said, “Like many others in Bahrain, Rajab is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression,” adding that he should be released and all other charges against him dropped. Amnesty claims that Bahrain has done little to improve its poor human rights record since its protests began last year, and argued that Rajab’s detainment is just the latest example of the government failing to deliver on promised reforms.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Special Investigations Unit reported success in implementing the state-sponsored Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) recommendations in the aftermath of recent unrest. The unit followed up on 122 cases referred to it by the Ministry of Interior and National Security Agency, and announced success in ensuring accountability of offenders, the right to compensation, and freedom of expression yesterday. Unit head Dana Al Zayani said that the government prepared changes to the penal code including altering the definition of torture, which criminalizes the act and provisions related to freedom of expression, putting constraints on punishment for broadcasting false news, on condition that such act is deliberate and harms national security.