FIDH International Board reiterates its solidarity with Deputy Secretary General Nabeel Rajab

Press release
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On the occasion of its International Board meeting in Paris on 1-4th December 2016, FIDH expresses its solidarity with detained Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and FIDH Deputy Secretary General from 2012 to 2016.

FIDH is highly concerned by the arrest of Nabeel Rajab on 13 June 2016, and his ongoing arbitrary detention in a police station since then. It deplores the trumped-up criminal charges brought against the latter, which only aim at sanctioning his human rights activities, incl. the exercise of his right to freedom of expression on social media. The charges relate to comments posted by Mr. Rajab on Twitter in 2015, about conditions of detention in Jaw prison and the war in Yemen. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison, for which he had already been detained from April 2 to July 13, 2015. Charges include the following: “disseminating false rumours in time of war” (Article 133 of the Penal Code), “insulting a statutory body” (Article 216 of the Penal Code) and “offending a foreign country [Saudi Arabia]” (under Article 215 of the Penal Code).

FIDH is also particularly alarmed by the degrading detention conditions of Mr. Nabeel Rajab, as well as his deteriorating health while in detention.

FIDH more generally highlights that the ongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Rajab is yet another evidence of the increasing pattern of harassment targeting the Bahraini civil society.

Accordingly, the FIDH International Board urges the Bahraini authorities to:

ii. Release Mr. Nabeel Rajab immediately and unconditionally, and provide him access to the medical treatment he requires;

ii. Put an end to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Nabeel Rajab and against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

iii. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.

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