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US calls for release of Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab

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The US State Department on Tuesday called for Rajab's immediate release after The New York Times published a letter by the activist that said he was facing prosecution for his work exposing human rights abuses in Bahrain and criticising the war in Yemen.

Prosecutors in Bahrain filed new charges on Monday against an unidentified man, believed by rights activists to be Rajab, for "publishing a column in a foreign newspaper in which he deliberately spread news, statements and false rumours that undermine the kingdom's stature".

"The case is still being investigated by the public prosecution," said a  Bahraini government spokesperson, who did not name Rajab as the subject of the new charges. "The public prosecution is independent of the government. Every suspect, as per the laws of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is not guilty until proven otherwise."

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