German commissioner urges Bahrain to respect human rights

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SHAFAQNA – Germany’s human rights commissioner has bashed the Bahraini government for its intolerance with regard to activists and dissent, calling on Manama to respect people’s rights for freedom of expression. “I call on the government there … to protect the right to peaceful freedom of expression and to waive penalties that restrict it,” Christoph Strässer said Saturday. The comments by the senior German human rights official came as the Bahraini government is expected to refer prominent activist Nabil Rajab to the public prosecutor on Sunday.

Rajab was detained on April 2 over the spread of anti-government comments and posts on Twitter, but his detention period was extended for another 15 days on April 11 after he criticized the Bahraini government’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s unlawful military aggression against Yemen.

Rajab spent two years in prison from mid-2012 to mid-2014.

Bahraini human rights activist Nabil Rajab (C) and his daughter Malak leave a court building after attending his appeal hearing on February 11, 2015 in the capital Manama. © AFP

Strässer criticized the Bahraini regime for putting activists like Rajab behind bars, saying the expression of opinion should not be deemed “a threat to the stability” for the country.

“I call for a fair and transparent proceedings for Nabil Rajab,” Strässer  said, urging the government to protect the activist’s “full rights.”

Major political figures have criticized Bahrain and other countries who have joined the Saudi onslaught against the Yemeni people, which started on March 26 and continues to claim lives across Yemen.

Bahrain has been also the scene of numerous rallies in condemnation of the air strikes against the Arab country.

The tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa regime since early 2011, when an uprising began in the country. Since then, thousands of protesters have held numerous rallies on the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

The Manama regime has been severely criticized by human rights groups for its harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, which has claimed the lives of scores of people so far.

Source : Press TV

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