A Bahraini court ordered the suspension of the country's main opposition group al-Wefaq on Tuesday in what appeared to be an escalating campaign against dissent in the Western-allied Gulf Arab kingdom.
The human rights activist spoke to VICE News on his release after serving nearly four months in prison for a tweet. Some 3,000 political prisoners are believed to still be incarcerated in the Gulf state.
A Shia Muslim cleric and head of the al Wefaq Islamic Society, Sheikh Ali Salman was convicted of inciting disobedience and hatred, but acquitted on the charge of seeking to overthrow the monarchy.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is skipping the GCC summit in the US to sit beside Queen Elizabeth this weekend, as Nabeel Rajab is going back behind bars as a Bahraini court upheld his conviction.
"They want to keep me as long as they can inside Bahrain, so that I can't do interviews, meet officials, or speak at the United Nations," Rajab said.
In a purported move to fight terror, Bahrain has stripped the citizenship of 72 people. Some of them are with the Islamic State — but others are simply pro-democracy advocates.
Graphic footage purportedly shows a protester being shot in the head at close range from an armored police vehicle. According to activists, however, this is not an isolated incident in the Gulf state.
We Spoke to Bahraini Activist Nabeel Rajab, Hours Before He Was Sentenced to Six Months in Jail for a Tweet
The prominent human rights champion accused Britain of ignoring repression of the Bahraini people in its bid for cozy relations and lucrative deals.
While paying lip service to supporting human rights abroad, the British government does nothing as its ally Bahrain repeatedly violates them.