PPF urges Bahrain to end prosecution of rights’ activist

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) has written a letter to His HM Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain to express its concern over the continued persecution of human rights and free speech defender Najeeb Rajab.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali, in his letter, urged the king of Bahrain to end the continued detention of Najeeb Rajab, president for Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

According to Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), a Bahraini court ordered the provisional release of Rajab on bail on December 28. However, the Public Prosecution subsequently ordered his continued detention for seven days, citing further investigation into another case in which Rajab is accused of “spreading false news,” likely to be related to letters published in the New York Times and most recently in Le Monde newspapers.

Bahraini authorities arrested Rajab on 13 June, 2016, on charges of “spreading false news and rumors about the internal situation in a bid to discredit Bahrain.”

Since his arrest, multiple charges have been brought against him, each following the publication of his columns in international media like the New York Times and Le Monde.

PPF urged the authorities in Bahrain to end the prosecution of Rajab and to allow him to perform his professional duties without threat or intimidation. This, PPF added, would help create a thriving climate for free expression.