Bahrainis demand activist's release

Some 2,000 people have demonstrated in the Bahraini capital of Manama, demanding the release of a leading human-rights activist.

    The detention of rights activist al-Khawaja has sparked unrest

    The protesters marched on Thursday from the Ras al-Romman mosque towards parliament to press for the release of Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja, who is standing trial on charges of "inciting hatred against the regime".

    The demonstrators also demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.

    The rally passed without incident.

    Earlier on Wednesday, lawyers for al-Khawaja charged that his trial was a breach of constitutional provisions on freedom of speech.

    Crackdown

    Al-Khawaja, vice-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was arrested in September and his organisation closed down on the grounds that its activities violated the Gulf state's associations law.

    Prior to his arrest, he had addressed a poverty symposium at which he made remarks critical of the government's management of the national economy.

    He also faces charges of "propagating rumours accusing government officials and the government of abuse of power".

    He pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial last Saturday.

    The next court hearing has been set for 25 October.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.