Bahrain: Tens of thousands protest in support of rights activist Nabeel Rajab

Thousands of protesters took part in a protest in the village of Karzakan in support of prominent activist Nabeel Rajab who was arrested a week ago.

Protesters were seen holding pictures of Rajab who has become one of the symbols of the Bahraini uprising.

Rights activist Nabeel Rajab was arrested on last Saturday at Manama airport after returning from a human rights conference in Beirut, Lebanon. He appeared in front of a court the next day where he faced charges of “inciting illegal rallies and marches online by using social networking websites.”

The Bahraini Ministry of Interior issued a statement stating that Rajab was detained on the order of the Attorney-General. On the other hand, Rajab's lawyers mentioned that the charges against him include "engagement in illegitimate practices" and "incitement to gatherings and unlicensed marches". They also affirmed that he has been questioned about some of his tweets and has been accused of "insulting a statutory body; being the Ministry of Interior".

The president of the Bahrain centre for Human Rights will be sent to public prosecution this Sunday where the question of his release will be discussed.

The Shi'ite community has been demanding democratic reforms. More than a year after the beginning of the uprising, members of the Shi'ite community protest almost every day in different villages and cities across the Gulf kingdom.

The majority Shi'ite community say they feel marginalized by the minority Sunni al-Khalifa regime, which has been in power for more than 200 years. Bahrain's Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa has occupied his position for 42 years. The Shi'ite population demand democratic reforms that would reduce the extensive powers of the ruling Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family.

According to activists the regime's violent clampdown on pro-democracy protests resulted in the deaths of more than 80 people since the beginning of the popular uprising last year.

Photos courtesy of Said Yousif and via @ALWEFAQ.

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