A Bahraini court has ordered on Wednesday morning the release of prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab after 21 days in detention. The head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was arrested on June 6 for criticizing the regime on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Despite his release the prominent dissident still faces charges of “inciting illegal rallies and marches online by using social networking websites”, he is to appear in court on July 9. His arrest followed an interview he gave to Al-Jazeera's The Stream, which prompted activists to conclude that his interview was the real reason behind his arrest. One week before, Rajab had been released on bail after three weeks in detention. On Twitter many welcomed the release of the human rights activist. Nabeel Rajab has become a leader of the pro-democracy movement which started after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. Members of the Shi’ite community took to the streets of the Bahraini capital in February last year only to be crushed in when the government imposed martial law and brought in Saudi and United Arab Emirates troops. The Shi'ite community, which constitutes the majority of the population in Bahrain, say they feel marginalized economically and politically by the Sunni ruling family who has been in power in the Gulf country for more than two centuries. Activists claim that more than 80 people have died since February 2011. According to Amnesty International, 4,000 people were dismissed from their jobs for taking part in anti-government protests and hundreds of protesters are still in prison after being detained, tried unfairly by military courts, and receiving harsh prison sentences.
Bahraini authorities release rights activist Nabeel Rajab