MANAMA, Bahrain – A prominent rights activist jailed in Bahrain says his detention is a political act aimed at weakening the uprising against the Gulf kingdom's rulers.
Nabel Rajab also told a judge on Wednesday that authorities seek to muzzle free expression as part of crackdowns against opposition groups.
Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was arrested May 5 and charged with using social media to insult Bahraini authorities and encourage demonstrations. Fifty-five lawyers attended his hearing in a show of solidarity with Rajab.
The trial continues on Sunday.
Bahrain's majority Shiites seek to overturn the wide-ranging powers of the ruling Sunni dynasty. At least 50 people have died in the unrest since February 2011.