SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association)
QUESTION: In Bahrain?
MR. VENTRELL: Bahrain? Go ahead.
QUESTION: Amnesty International is accusing the government of the arrest of the activist Nabeel Rajab was politically – political and that he should be released immediately. Do you agree with Amnesty International?
MR. VENTRELL: While I haven’t seen the Amnesty International report, what I can tell you is that we’ve been concerned about his case. Clearly, we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to respect the freedom of expression, which is a universal right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Bahrain is a party. So we’ve actively been following his case and continue to have a keen interest.
QUESTION: Do you want him released?
MR. VENTRELL: We are concerned about the reports of the three-month prison sentence, and what I will say is that broadly speaking we want the Government of Bahrain to abide by its commitment to respect the right to due process and transparent judicial proceedings.
QUESTION: But you’re not calling for his release?
MR. VENTRELL: We’re concerned about the three-month prison sentence.
QUESTION: What does that mean?
MR. VENTRELL: It means that we’re concerned about it.
QUESTION: Yeah. But what does that mean?
MR. VENTRELL: I’m not going to go any further, Matt. Thanks.
QUESTION: Well, the question was that Amnesty International says that he should be released. You don’t share – it sounds as though you do not share that same opinion.
MR. VENTRELL: I mean, what we want – the bigger picture of what we want is that, in regard to the treatment of all detainees, is that there’s a fair and transparent judicial process. So --
QUESTION: All right. Well, do you believe that that’s happened?
MR. VENTRELL: So there clearly have been cases where we’ve had concerns about the political ramifications. We’ve expressed concerns about his case in particular, and we’ll continue to raise it as appropriate with the Government of Bahrain.
Source : US State Department