Middle East

Bahrain investigates jailed activist for French news article

FILE- In this Thursday, May 14, 2015 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters hold up images of jailed human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a solidarity protest outside his home in Bani Jamra, Bahrain. A jailed activist in Bahrain on trial for allegedly spreading "false news" is being investigated over a letter published in his name by French newspaper. Bahrain's Interior Ministry issued a statement early Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016,  announcing the new probe focusing on Nabeel Rajab over the article published by Le Monde on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

FILE- In this Thursday, May 14, 2015 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters hold up images of jailed human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a solidarity protest outside his home in Bani Jamra, Bahrain. A jailed activist in Bahrain on trial for allegedly spreading "false news" is being investigated over a letter published in his name by French newspaper. Bahrain's Interior Ministry issued a statement early Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, announcing the new probe focusing on Nabeel Rajab over the article published by Le Monde on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

A jailed activist in Bahrain on trial for allegedly spreading "false news" is being investigated over a letter published in his name by a French newspaper.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry issued a statement early Thursday announcing the new probe focusing on Nabeel Rajab over the article published by Le Monde on Tuesday.

In the letter, Rajab asks France and Germany to "be ready to face the monarchies of the Arabian-Persian Gulf" as they "claim to be allies in the battle against extremism while fueling the crisis."

Rajab's lawyer and Bahrain's government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bahrain previously has said "no individual in Bahrain will, or can be, prosecuted for his or her political views due to the freedom of expression protections explicitly stated in the constitution."