The nightmare is over for Canadian man Naser Al Raas after he gained his freedom from a five-year prison sentence in Bahrain.
Family and supporters were jubilant after an appeal court in the Persian Gulf Kingdom acquitted Naser of all charges on Wednesday.
Their relief over the ruling was made all the more emphatic because the 29-year-old Canadian citizen suffers from a congenital heart condition. Nearly a year of illegal detention, torture and military court hearings had taken a severe toll on his health. He was even denied access by the Bahraini regime to the prescription medicine to treat his pulmonary embolism.
With a five-year jail term imposed earlier this month, his family feared that it would in effect be a death sentence, given his weakened condition.
However, the miscarriage of justice case of Naser Al Raas gained much international public support. Among those who called for his release were the Canadian surgeon Fraser D Rubens who previously treated Al Raas at the Ottawa Heart Institute, and Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.