Bahraini Human Rights Activist Sentenced
Prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to three months in jail on Monday for anti-government comments made on social media. The conviction involves one of several cases against the activist, who has been arrested and released twice since May. Shortly after the announcement of the verdict, Rajab was taken into custody by masked policemen. Rajab’s attorney said the sentence will likely be shortened because of three weeks Rajab already served in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, a Bahraini court ordered the disbanding of the Islamic Action Association, a Shia opposition group. The group, also referred to as Amal Party, was found guilty of following a “religious ideology that calls for violence.” Al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition group, slammed Monday’s court decision as a “violation of the constitution and law.” Additionally, the Bahrain Information Affairs Authority, in association with the United Nations Development Programme, held a day-long conference on “national reconciliation” to create a “platform for social unity.” No opposition groups attended. Finally, Justin Gengler writes on the nature of Sunni opposition groups in Bahrain.
In Kuwait, 12 activists were detained for demonstrating and resisting riot police. The individuals were attending one of several protests conducted by Bedoon activists over the weekend. Kuwait’s Bedoon, which number over 100,000, are essentially stateless persons. The Kuwait Human Rights Society has called on the authorities to take into account the demands of the Bedoon and give them their legal rights to education, health, employment, and identity cards. This is in addition to marriage and divorce contracts and birth and death certificates. Muna al-Fuzai, writing in the Kuwait Times, urges the government to appoint a special Bedoon representative but also warns that the Bedoon “should not be given the false hope that they will receive citizenship if they are not eligible for it.”