Activist Najeeb Rajab to remain in custody

Court orders release, but prosecutor rules it out, citing other charges pending against the Bahraini activist.

    Activist Najeeb Rajab to remain in custody
    Rajab, 51, has been in jail in Bahrain since June [Hasan Jamali/AP]

    Bahrain's public prosecutor has decided not to release Nabeel Rajab, a prominent activist, after a court ordered his release hours earlier.

    The public prosecutor said in a statement on Wednesday that Rajab would not be released pending other charges related to a case where he had been questioned about spreading false rumours about the country's internal situation.

    The statement did not specify the charges, but it is believed that opinion pieces he wrote for The New York Times and France's Le Monde newspapers while in custody or earlier statements he made to an outside TV network, are being used as justification for the new charges against him.

    Jalila Sayed, the defence lawyer, confirmed that Rajab, 51, who has been in jail since June, would continue to be held after earlier saying he suffered from poor health.

    READ MORE: Bahrain - The stories that aren't being covered

    "Nabeel is overall weak because of so many health problems he started facing, including heart problems and other physical issues," Sayed told Associated Press news agency.

    "He's under tremendous stress because of this length of detention."

    Rajab was arrested over a series of messages posted to his Twitter account about the ongoing conflict in Yemen, as well as allegations of torture by authorities at a local prison.

    In Wednesday's hearing, Sayed said she believed the court initially granted bail because a witness for the prosecution could not specifically prove that Rajab had control of the Twitter account in his name, nor show he sent the tweets in question.

    "We hope this will end with an acquittal because the case has no evidence," the lawyer said.

    Inside Story - What's behind Bahrain's decision to ban Al Jazeera from the GCC summit?

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    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.