May.25 - Bahrain releases one of the Arab world's best-known activists after he served a two-year jail sentence for his role in protests calling for democracy in the U.S.-allied kingdom. Sarah Toms reports.
Jubilant scenes in Bahrain on Saturday. Hundreds gathered to celebrate the release of Nabeel Rajab after serving a two-year jail sentence. The prominent human rights activist was imprisoned for taking part in illegal pro-democracy protests in 2011, after similar uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. An appeals court reduced his original three-year term by a year. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BAHRAINI HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST, NABEEL RAJAB, SAYING: "With great regret I was imprisoned for giving speeches, my participation in defending the human rights in Bahrain, but really these two years have changed me to be much stronger. The prison for me was just like a school and I will continue to fight for the people and human rights and with the political societies till we achieve our goals that we started on February 14." Supporters came to Rajab's home to welcome his return. The country has been in turmoil since the protests erupted. And his release will be a major test for Bahrain which still has effectively banned demonstrations and is caught up in a struggle for influence between Shi'ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.