FIDH international bureau calls for Nabeel Rajab’s immediate and unconditional release

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On the occasion of its International Board meeting in Paris on 24-26th November 2017, FIDH expresses its solidarity with detained Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, FIDH Deputy Secretary General and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

FIDH is highly concerned by the ongoing arbitrary detention of Nabeel Rajab since 13 June 2016, and the confirmation of his sentence in appeal to 2 years’ imprisonment on 22 November. FIDH is also appalled by the other ongoing judicial proceedings against him, which may lead up to an additional 15 years in prison. The next hearing is due to take place on 31 December 2017.

Nabeel’s health has deteriorated significantly. After being hospitalised, his return to prison has been marked by new persecutions, and humiliating and degrading detention conditions. Beaten on his arrival, and woken up and searched in the middle of the night, his clothes and toiletries were confiscated and he was subjected to humiliating treatment. FIDH is further concerned by the denied access of Nabeel Rajab to his relatives and lawyers while in detention.

FIDH highlights that the whole pattern of harassment against Nabeel Rajab, including his detention conditions, stems from a direct and targeted attempt to sanction his human rights work. Today Nabeel’s life is in danger.
Nabeel Rajab has been targeted over the past years in relation to comments posted on Twitter in 2015, that denounced the conditions of detention in Jaw prison and the war in Yemen. The ongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Rajab is yet another evidence of the increasing pattern of harassment targeting the Bahraini civil society.
A delegation of the IB of FIDH was received by the Ambassador of Bahrain in France Dr. Mohammed Abdulghaffar Abdullah on 24 November. FIDH requested immediate release of its Deputy Secretary General and insisted that the Bahraini authorities would be held accountable for Nabeel’s health and life.

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

i. Release Mr. Nabeel Rajab immediately and unconditionally;
ii. Respect the right of Nabeel Rajab’s family to visit him in jail once a week, as well as unhindered access by his lawyers, and immediate improvement of his detention conditions, as provided under applicable regulations;
iii. Provide his family with full access to his medical records, and ensure that he receives all necessary medical treatments;
iv. 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;
v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain ;
vi. Authorize UN bodies, NGOs, and journalists to access the country without condition and to visit Nabeel Rajab and other prisoners of conscience in prison.

FIDH International Board also calls upon the European Union, and the HR/VP Mogherini to live up by the EU commitment to "throw its full weight behind advocates of liberty, democracy and human rights throughout the world", including by publicly condemning the continued arbitrary detention of Nabeel Rajab, in blatant contravention of international human rights Law.

Finally, FIDH International Board calls upon the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution on the situation of human rights and the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders in Bahrain, including Nabeel Rajab, on the occasion of its next session.

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  • Co-signatories

    FIDH International Board is composed of:

Greece: Dimitris CHRISTOPOULOS, Hellenic League of Human Rights (HLHR)
Vice Presidents:

    Afghanistan: Guissou JAHANGIRI, Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA

    Armenia: Artak KIRAKOSYAN, Civil Society Institute (CSI)
Bangladesh: Adilur RAHMAN KHAN, Odhikar

    Côte d’Ivoire: Drissa TRAORE, Mouvement ivoirien des droits humains (MIDH)

    Ecuador: Elise MONGE, Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU)

    Egypt: Mohamed Aly Mohamed ZAREA, Human Rights Association for the assistance of Prisoners (HRAAP)
France: Maryse ARTIGUELONG, Ligues des droits de l’Homme (LDH)

    Guatemala: Juan Francisco SOTO, Asociacion Centro Legal en Derechos Humanos (CALDH)

    Kyrgyzstan: Tolekan ISMAILOVA, Bir Duino

    Peru: Gloria Margarita CANO LEGUA, Asociacion pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH)
The Netherlands: Gerard J-M VAN VLIET, Dutch League for Human Rights
The Philippines: Rosemarie TRAJANO, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Tunisia: Hafidha CHEKIR, Association tunisienne des femmes démocrates (ATFD)

    Uganda: Sheila MUWANGA, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI)

    Zimbabwe: Arnold TSUNGA, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
Secretaries General:

    Belgium: Dan VAN RAEMDONCK, Ligue Belge (Francophone) des droits de l’Homme (LDH)
Botswana: Alice MOGWE, DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights

    Burma: Debbie STOTHARD, Altsean-Burma

    Haïti: Pierre ESPERANCE, Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH)

  • Member organisations - Bahrain

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