Nabeel Rajab Acquitted

The Bahrain News Agency is carrying a report that the court has acquitted Nabeel Rajab from defaming and slandering Muharraq citizens. Here’s the release:

Court of Appeals Acquits Nabeel Rajab of Defamation and Slandering of Muharraq Citizens

12 : 12 PM – 23/08/2012
Manama, August 23 — (BNA)– The Court of Appeal has cleared activist Nabeel Rajab of the charges filed versus him by a group of citizens from Muharraq. Rajab was accused of publically slandering them on his personal twitter account.

The court ruling was due to the judge’s uncertainty regarding the evidence submitted to support the lawsuit. The first-instance court had previously found him guilty and sentenced him to a period of three months.

Rajab is currently serving a three year sentence on charges of participating in and inciting illegal assemblies and unlicensed rallying in busy commercial districts and he currently is appealing the verdict. [BNA]

Just as I thoughtActivist Nabeel Rajab Acquitted from Defamation and Slander accusation, and as did the majority of those who live in this country did so too, that Nabeel Rajab is innocent of these heinous charges and he was framed and imprisoned for expressing his opinion. I have no doubt whatsoever that he is innocent. I know that although he is wrongly serving a prison sentence now again for simply exercising his rights, he will be exonerated, not only because the whole free world is demanding his release, but because he is right.

The funny thing about this whole press release; however, is that the state is now calling Nabeel an activist rather than the usual nomenclature of terrorist and other assorted adjectives. What gives? Did the BNA get a new translator who over-stepped his mark and their reference manual which describes just about everybody who has a differing opinion a traitor, a coward, a terrorist or all three together? Regardless, I wouldn’t be surprised if that word was edited out of the text on their site soon.

Time to release Nabeel to get him back to his family and his thankless work. We – as a whole country and its people – need him and his like. We should thank him for his efforts rather than let him rot in jail. The others who’ve been wrongly convicted for nothing more than expressing their opinions should also be immediately released and charges against them voided.

Now, in a country where justice is supposedly institutionalised and cherished, and in view of Nabeel being acquitted of the defamation and slander, when will we see those who brought those charges against him brought to justice for at least impeding justice and wasting their time? I think they absolutely should if for nothing but to make an example of them and deter others from targeting honest citizens and wasting the rather busy and precious courts’ time.

I look forward to welcoming a free Nabeel back into the community soon.