BEIRUT

Middle East

Bahrain blocks marches for jailed rights activist

A Bahraini girl holds a national flag during an anti-government rally in solidarity with jailed human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab on March 22, 2013 in the village of Belad Al Qadeem, in a suburb of Manama. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

MANAMA, Bahrain: Security forces in Bahrain have fired tear gas to prevent protesters from reaching the house of a jailed human rights activist who is the focus of an international campaign seeking his release.

Riot police clashed with hundreds of marchers trying to gather at the home of Nabeel Rajab, who has been sentenced to two years in prison on charges of backing "illegal" protests.

Authorities also set up roadblocks to keep cars from reaching the house.

Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, is among dozens of activists and political figures jailed during the more than two-year unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

Majority Shiites in the Sunni-ruled nation are seeking a greater political voice.

International rights groups have called for Bahrain to release Rajab and other jailed activists.

 

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