Nabeel Rajab was pardoned by King Hamad because of fears over his health. We hope that this is the last time that Bahrain’s government pursuit Nabeel for this fight for human rights.
Nabeel is member of the Consulting Comitee of the Middle East Division of Human Rights Watch, member of the International Federation of Human Rights, former president of CARAM Asia and president of Golf Center for Human Rights.
On January 20th 2015 Mr. Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), FIDH Deputy Secretary General and a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East Division was sentenced to six months imprisonment on charges of insulting public institutions by the Third Lower Criminal Court.
It all started on October 2014 when Nabeel Rajab was detained and questioned for a week over a tweet he wrote criticizing the government institutions. The Public Prosecution confirmed the detention and questioning of Rajab for insulting state institutions online. Mr. Rajab repeated his position denying all accusations against him and emphasizing that he was only exercising his freedom of expression.
“Nabeel Rajab is being unjustly punished simply for posting tweets deemed insulting to the authorities. His conviction is a blow to freedom of expression – it must be quashed. He should be released immediately and unconditionally,” said them Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
Nabeel Rajab told Amnesty International about his sentence: “The unjust and relentless targeting of myself by the authorities provides just one example of what many other human rights defenders from across the Gulf region are subjected to. We are not only the victims of the repression of our own governments but also the victims of the silence, hypocrisy and double standards of the international community. Our people, who are hungry for freedom and social justice, are being forced to pay the price.”
After Nabeel Rajab was convicted his lawyers paid a bail of 200 Bahrani Dinars. They also appeal the sentence and that’s why Nabeel Rajab will not be located in confinement pending the result of the appeal hearing because according to the Bahrain Criminal Procedures Code, all sentences issued by lower criminal courts can be suspended with a bail posted, upon the agreement of the judge.
This is not the first time that Nabeel Rajab is arrested, in 2009, police officers put him in custody after another tweet talking about the Khalifa. On the same day a Lower Criminal Court sentenced him to three months in prison for allegedly libeling the residents of Al Muharraq, Bahrain's third largest city. On August 23, 2012, a Higher Appeal Court acquitted Nabeel Rajab but we was sentenced to three years imprisonment, a week before, by the Lower Criminal Court for three cases related to his participation in pacific gatherings in favor of fundamental freedoms and democracy.
In December of 2012 the Higher Appeal Criminal Court reduced his sentence to two and a half years imprisonment, so Nabeel Rajab completed his sentence and was released in June 2014.
We, the undersigned, demand the authorities of Bahrain to put an end to any act of persecution at any level against Mr. Nabeel Rajab and against any other Human Rights defender. To drop all charges sanctioning his Human Rights activities and guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Nabeel Rajab and all Human Rights defenders in Bahrain. And guarantee respect for Human Rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with all the International Human Rights standards ratified by Bahrain.
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been released thanks to a royal pardon which has received "for health reasons". After spending just over 3 months in prison for publishing messages on Twitter about the problem of ISIS supporters in the security forces in Bahrain.
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Human Rights Watch