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US Department of State Again Urges Bahrain "To Drop The Charges And Release Nabeel Rajab"

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QUESTION: On Bahrain.

MS. HARF: Uh-huh.

QUESTION: On Thursday, Jen called on authorities in Bahrain to drop charges against the activist Nabeel Rajab.

MS. HARF: I would echo those calls.

QUESTION: Okay. Do you have any reaction to judicial authorities yesterday ignoring those calls and carrying on with the case?

MS. HARF: Yes, the trial did begin yesterday. An Embassy Manama official did attend the hearing. We do not agree with the prosecution of individuals for crimes of peaceful political expression and again urge the Government of Bahrain to drop the charges and release Mr. Rajab. Obviously, we believe he has the right to freedom of expression. It doesn’t mean we agree with everything he tweeted, but certainly agree he has the right to do it.

QUESTION: Do those concerns also extend to Zainab al-Khawaja?

MS. HARF: Yes. We obviously follow the reports of the continued detention, have called on the Bahraini officials here to ensure equal treatment under the law, advance justice in a fair and transparent way. It’s something we’ve continued to follow and are also concerned, as you know, about the health of her father as well.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/10/233166.htm#BAHRAIN

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