Bahrain: Fears for Nabeel Rajab’s life inside his prison

25/01/2018
Press release
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© FIDH - Dominique Faliez / L’oeil du plafond

Beirut - Paris - Geneva, January 25, 2018: According to a credible confidential source, Bahraini authorities have planned to interfere with prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab’s medication in a clear attempt to threaten his security and integrity. The Bahraini authorities should immediately and unconditionally release him.

“This attempted attack on Nabeel’s health is certainly not random” said today the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH - OMCT partnership), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Gulf center for Human Rights (GCHR). It falls at a time when the government has tried to keep him under tight surveillance to prevent him from speaking out. The authorities couldn’t stop him from speaking out to defend human rights so they might be looking at other ways to silence him for good. The situation is even more worrisome as Nabeel Rajab needs surgery and has no choice but to take the medication he is given.

“Bahrain has been cracking down on our friend and Deputy Secretary General, Nabeel Rajab for years with abusive tactics. Recently alarming signals have multiplied raising security concerns regarding his detention condition. The government should put a stop to these tactics, and immediately release him. We seriously fear for his life.”

Dimitris Christopoulos, FIDH President

“The Bahraini authorities should allow an international independent medical examination of Nabeel Rajab and the results of this examination to be duly recorded and accessible by his family. Nabeel Rajab’s life is at serious risk and he should receive urgently the medical treatment he needs by a trusted medical institution.”

Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General

In the last months, a number of prominent dissidents and activists have become seriously ill in detention in Bahrain, and have been denied independent, adequate and trusted care. Authorities have detained, imprisoned, tortured, intimidated, stripped of their nationality, or forced into exile many people who peacefully opposed or openly criticized the authorities’ actions and policies. The authorities have also shut down numerous independent media outlets.

“Authorities should immediately release him and allow him to seek medical care freely from a doctor of his choice. There are fewer and fewer human rights defenders able to work in Bahrain, and they do so at great risks, even in detention, as demonstrated by this case. The harassment of Nabeel Rajab is intended to silencing the whole Bahraini society.”

Maytham Al Salman, BCHR Special Advisor

Press contacts:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 6 48 05 91 57
OMCT: Delphine Reculeau: +41 22 809 49 39
BCHR: Julie Gromellon: +961 81 784 437

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