Middle East

Bahraini activist freed in UAE after two months

Cars pass by a picture of the prime minister and president of the UAE at Internet City in Dubai (file) Image copyright AP
Image caption Salah Yafai was held at an "unknown location" somewhere in the UAE

A Bahraini political activist has been freed in the United Arab Emirates nearly two months after being arrested amid official silence.

Salah Yafai, 33, was released on Saturday and returned to Bahrain the same day.

During his detention, his family had no word as to his whereabouts, a human rights organisation says.

He was arrested at Dubai airport on 26 April, according to the Emirates Centre for Human Rights.

It appears he was detained because of his membership of a conservative religious society and for tweets in support of jailed political dissidents in the UAE.

Mr Yafai made one call on his mobile phone to a Bahraini member of parliament at the time of his arrest.

The MP, Mohammed al-Emadi described him as sounding "frightened and upset".

Mr Yafai, a fitness trainer and educator, is a member of the Bahrain al-Islah society, a conservative religious organisation with links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last year 94 people, most of them members of the al-Islah society in the UAE, were arrested and are on trial charged with plotting to overthrow the United Arab Emirates government. The detainees include two prominent human rights lawyers, as well as judges, teachers, and student leaders.

If convicted, the activists, including 13 women, each face up to 15 years in jail, with no right of appeal.

A verdict in their case is expected in early July.

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