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Bahrain: Release Rights Activist, Lift Travel Bans

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Bahrain should immediately stop the prosecution of prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who faces up to 15 years in prison solely for charges that violate his right to free expression. Rajab’s trial resumes on September 5, 2016, on charges that include criticism of Bahrain’s participation in Saudi Arabia-led military operations in Yemen. Authorities have rejected repeated requests to release him on bail.

Bahraini authorities have also prevented three of Rajab’s colleagues at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) from leaving, one of whom was planning to attend the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council meetings that begin in Geneva on September 13. Nedal al-Salman, BCHR’s head of international relations, told Human Rights Watch that on August 29, officials at Bahrain International Airport told her that a public prosecutor had imposed a travel ban on her after earlier banning two of her colleagues from leaving.

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