Detention of activists in Bahrain sends "chilling message"

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Stephane Dujarric. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The detention of human rights campaigners in Bahrain sends a "chilling message" to other activists, according to the United Nations.

Nabeel Rajab was arrested on Wednesday on his return to Bahrain following a trip overseas where he discussed the human rights situation in his country with a number of organizations, including the UN.

It's the second such incident in less than a month in the Gulf country.

Stephane Dujarric is the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

” The detention of high-profile human rights activists like Nabeel Rajab and Maryam Al-Khawaja, who was arrested last month, sends a chilling message to other activists of the consequences they may face for any criticism of the authorities. Human rights defenders in Bahrain must be able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals. “

Mr Rajab was initially charged with publicly insulting a government institution on social media and has been detained for a week pending investigation.

The United Nations Human Rights Office has called on the Bahraini authorities to release him immediately.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'11"

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