Human Rights and ...
Follow
Find tag "#NabeelRajab8"
71.3K views | +3 today
Human Rights and the Will to be free
Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Open Letter from Nabeel Rajab to President Obama

Open Letter from Nabeel Rajab to President Obama | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
From: Nabeel Rajab
President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Isa Town Detention Center
Bahrain

Dear President Obama,

I write to you from a Bahraini jail cell, and this message was never meant to go beyond its walls. Even though I have never advocated for violence nor harmed another living soul, I have spent 28 of the last 36 months in a Bahraini prison for actions that can only be counted as crimes in a nation that stifles free expression and criminalizes open assembly. I have documented my government’s use of torture. I have reported on civilian casualties in Yemen. I have held a different opinion than that of a king. In retaliation, I may spend the next ten years of my life in jail.


While my government punishes me for demanding an end to its assault on civil and political rights, other GCC states, especially Saudi Arabia, subject human rights defenders to harsher abuse. Their repression can be seen in the flogging of free speech activist Raif Badawi and the death sentence against the religious scholar and human rights advocate Nimr al-Nimr. Saudi courts even sentenced Raif’s lawyer, Waleed abu al-Khair, to 15 years in prison. We as human rights defenders are targeted for giving voice to the marginalized, people seeking to take the reins of their own destiny; our governments do everything in their power to prevent us from acting upon the best ideals of our conscience.

The message you directed toward your Gulf allies last week laid the foundation for real change. Your words tacitly acknowledged what we in the region understand: only democracy can bring stability to the Middle East. And while democracy may take time to develop, the process cannot begin unless our right to free speech is protected. Right now, our governments divide us along religious lines, preventing us from collectively challenging extremism within our societies. As well, our rulers aggressively punish critics of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. We simply ask, however, for greater democratic participation in our nation’s affairs, and the ability to freely express our contempt for violence and extremism.

I thank your administration for calling for my release, and the release of my fellow human rights defenders. I urge you to defend our right to free speech when you meet with the monarchs of the Gulf, and call for:

The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners;
An end to the criminalization of free speech and expression, including any laws against criticism of government institutions or defamation of a king;
The cessation of all acts of torture and reprisal in GCC detention centers; and
The protection of free and open civil society space capable of fostering long-term stability and growth in the region.
The citizens of Bahrain and her neighbors have extraordinary potential. With unshackled voices, we can build stability and challenge extremism. What we need today is space for tolerance, plurality, and honest dialogue, the foundations of a democratic process that the reprisals against me and my colleagues seek to undermine.

 
Yours Sincerely,

Nabeel Rajab
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain : Ongoing judicial harassment of Mr. Nabeel Rajab

Bahrain : Ongoing judicial harassment of Mr. Nabeel Rajab | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment of 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.URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY New Information BHR 001 / 0812 / OBS 048.14 Judicial harassment Bahrain March 5, 2015The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the (...)
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain Justice System Should Immediately Drop All Charges Against Nabeel Rajab | Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights | Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights

(January 19th, 2015 | Florence, Italy) To respect the basic right of free expression and end judicial persecution and harassment, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights calls on the court of Bahrain to drop all charges against Nabeel Rajab. The government cannot guarantee an independent procedure in this case and should present evidence to justify the detention and trial or Rajab and others.

Rajab's being held is the latest in a government crackdown against political opposition. In addition, Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of the main political opposition recognized legally in Bahrain, has been held since December 29th, 2014 and charged with the promotion of violence and defamation of "a statutory body". Last week the government arbitrarily arrested nine children under 18 years of age.

All of these incidents are violations of the freedom of expression for anyone brave enough to raise their voice against the regime. Tomorrow 20th January, Nabeel Rajab should be released and no further unjustified prosecutions should continue.

Frank LaRue
Director, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: Maryam Al-Khawaja urges UK to speak out on human rights violations - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship

Bahrain: Maryam Al-Khawaja urges UK to speak out on human rights violations - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

You can imprison a human rights defender, but you can’t stop the human rights cause, Maryam Al-Khawaja told a packed press conference in London on Wednesday, organised by Index on Censorship and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD).

The prominent Bahraini activist and co-director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights urged UK authorities to speak out about rights abuses in her country, which she said is being run like a business by the ruling Al-Khalifa family. This comes after the arrest of her colleague, Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) president Nabeel Rajab. He is facing charges of insulting government institutions on Twitter.

Also on Wednesday, her sister Zainab Al-Khawaja was sentenced to seven days’ detention for publicly insulting King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa by ripping up a picture of him in court. She was in court over charges connected to her previous human rights campaigning....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Leading Bahraini human rights activist , Nabeel Rajab, arrested....

Leading Bahraini human rights activist , Nabeel Rajab, arrested.... | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
“He is being held under custody with the police and he will be presented tomorrow morning before the Public Prosecution for further investigation," his lawyer Jalila Alsayed told Middle East Eye.

"He might be released – we hope so – or he might be kept under detention pending further investigation and he might be immediately referred to court if they consider putting charges against him. Or otherwise they will decide to close the investigation."

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has released a statement saying the General Directorate of Anti-corruption and Economic and Electronic Security had “summoned Nabeel Ahmed Abdulrasool Rajab on Wednesday to interview him regarding Tweets posted on his Twitter account that denigrated government institutions.”

“Mr. Rajab acknowledged the charges and the case was referred to the Public Prosecutor.”
Spencer Haskins's insight:

In Bahrain, the best citizens are arrested for telling the TRUTH.

In Bahrain, The AlKhalifa terrorists abuse with categorical impunity all of Shiite citizenry. 

 

10 10  T 10

Yasgot Hamad !!!!

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: Activists highlight the human rights situation - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship

Bahrain: Activists highlight the human rights situation - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Nabeel Rajab, president of the 2012 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Advocacy award winning Bahrain Center for Human Rights, discusses the human rights situation in his country during a meeting.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain human rights activist spent two years in jail for tweets

Bahrain human rights activist spent two years in jail for tweets | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Nabeel Rajab urges Ireland ‘to fight for democracy around the world’ ...

Rajab believes there are similarities between Bahrain and Ireland in their shared struggles for democracy, justice and equality. “You were ruled by the British; we are ruled by a family who invaded the country 200 years ago and treated the indigenous population badly. [The government] marginalised people, put them in jail.”

He says that because Ireland achieved democracy, the Irish people “have an obligation to fight for democracy around the world . . . and to play a more active role in human rights struggles in the Middle East”.....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: Harassment of leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab at UK Airport

Bahrain: Harassment of leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab at UK Airport | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

On 24 July 2014, Nabeel Rajab, president of BCHR and director of GCHR, arrived with his wife and two children (12 and 16 years old) at Heathrow International Airport from Bahrain on a personal visit to see friends and undergo medical checkups in the UK. 

To their surprise, they were held for approximately five hours at a temporary detention center at the airport as they were waiting for the immigration authorities to process their entry papers. Their luggage was thoroughly searched and their fingerprints and photos were taken. They felt that they were treated “like criminals”. Rajab was allowed one phone call only and had to be escorted by a policeman when going to the rest room. Additionally, he was interrogated about his sentence and imprisonment in Bahrain, which was the apparent reason for this treatment. Later, they were informed that they would be allowed to enter the country; however, their passports were held for investigation and they were told that they will be notified in two weeks (by August 7, 2014) whether they will be allowed to stay in the UK for three weeks as they had planned. Rajab’s visa was issued via the UK embassy in Bahrain a few days before his trip and no issues were brought to his attention at that time.

Rajab was imprisoned in Bahrain for two years between July 2012 and May 2014 for exercising his right to freedom of assembly by participating in and calling for peaceful protests, in the Capital Manama, in defense of people’s rights in Bahrain.

He was considered a prisoner of conscience by several human rights bodies including the UK based Amnesty International, and his detention was considered arbitrary by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Spencer Haskins's insight:

What is wrong with England?  The AlKhalifa terrorists are treated like royalty and human rights defenders are treated like terrorists!  Reverse values operating in the British elite.....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Activist urges nations to punish Manama

Activist urges nations to punish Manama | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Prominent Bahraini human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, has called on the international community to punish Manama over its rights abuses.

The Bahraini regime has become a “dictatorship” and the situation in the country has worsened over the past couple of years, Rajab said during a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday.

“Many...measures have been taken and turned the system into a dictatorship,” he said, adding, “I...urge all civilized nations to take action against my country...regardless of the business relationships they have with my country.”

He also noted that  between 3,000 and 4,000 political prisoners are kept in the jails of a country having about 700,000 inhabitants....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Freed From Prison, Bahraini Activist Nabeel Rajab Urges U.S. to Stop Backing Regime’s Crackdown

Freed From Prison, Bahraini Activist Nabeel Rajab Urges U.S. to Stop Backing Regime’s Crackdown | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, joins us after nearly two years behind bars for his role in pro-democracy protests. With the critical backing of the U.S. and neighboring Gulf states, the Bahraini government has waged a crackdown on opposition protesters since an uprising broke out in February 2011. "We have been abandoned by the American government, we have been ignored completely," Rajab says. "They support a dictatorship here... no one can change their policy except the American people." We are also joined by Human Rights Watch’s Josh Colangelo, author of a new report that finds Bahrain’s courts have played a key role in maintaining the country’s highly repressive political order, routinely sentencing peaceful protesters to lengthy prison terms.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Activist Nabil Rajab appeals for ‘serious dialogue’ in Bahrain

Activist Nabil Rajab appeals for ‘serious dialogue’ in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

DUBAI - Prominent Bahraini Shiite activist Nabil Rajab issued an appeal on Sunday for "serious dialogue" in the Sunni-ruled kingdom following his release after serving a two-year jail term.

Rajab was arrested in the wake of the crackdown on a month of Shiite-led protests in 2011 demanding political reforms, and was jailed for taking part in "unauthorised" demonstrations.

He was freed on Saturday, and is now calling for a fresh round of dialogue between the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty and the opposition representing the Gulf archipelago's Shiite majority....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain's top rights activist, is free

Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain's top rights activist, is free | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahrain released one of the Arab world's best-known activists on Saturday after he served a two-year jail sentence for his role in pro-democracy protests in the US-allied kingdom, his son said and his lawyer said.

Nabeel Rajab, co-founder and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was found guilty in August 2012 of organizing and participating in "illegal" protests to push for reforms in a dictatorship ruled by the same family since 1783....

Spencer Haskins's insight:

I pray this is current and accurate!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Nabeel Rajab wrote to Ales Bialiatski - : News from Belarus - Minsk

Nabeel Rajab wrote to Ales Bialiatski - : News from Belarus  - Minsk | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Bahraini human rights activist and political prisoner Nabeel Rajab wrote to his Belarusian colleague.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain arrests activist Rajab over tweets - ministry

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain police arrested prominent democracy activist Nabeel Rajab on Thursday for comments he made on his Twitter account seen as harmful to civil peace, the kingdom's interior ministry
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

PressTV-‘Int’l silence emboldens Bahrain regime’

PressTV-‘Int’l silence emboldens Bahrain regime’ | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
An activist says the silence of the international community on the atrocities of the Bahraini regime has emboldened it.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: Six month sentence for Nabeel Rajab blow to freedom of expression | Amnesty International

The Bahraini authorities must quash the conviction of prominent human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab, who has today been sentenced to six months in prison for posting comments online which were considered insulting to the Ministries of Interior and Defence, Amnesty International said.
“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 Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab to face trial for expressing opinion - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship

Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab to face trial for expressing opinion - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Index is deeply concerned that the UK government has done little to press Bahrain to improve its human rights record. Bahrain's insistence on the prosecution of Nabeel Rajab underlines the abysmal state of free expression in that country....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

European MPs visit Bahraini activists

European MPs visit Bahraini activists | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
“Bahrain is considered one of the most repressive regimes in the world,” said BCHR director Nabeel Rajab on Wednesday, after he brought the delegation to the Belgian capital Brussels for a meeting with the European parliamentarians.

The activist, who has spent two years in an Al Khalifa jail, was highly critical of the European Union and the United States for failing to support the tiny country’s pro-democracy protesters.

“Bahrain has the highest rate per capita of political prisoners… (and) the second highest rate of journalists or photojournalists in jail,” said Rajab.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

‘Bahrain acting out most perilous crime’

‘Bahrain acting out most perilous crime’ | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Interview with Nabeel Rajab, Bahraini human rights activist, London
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Human rights activist Rajab speaks of Bahraini jail ordeal

Human rights activist Rajab speaks of Bahraini jail ordeal | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Bahraini Human Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab has arrived in the British capital following his release from a jail in Manama. He held a press conference in the House of Parliament to speak of his ordeal. But Rajab’s arrival was met with brutal treatment by British security forces.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

'Unfortunately we are ruled by a tribe' | Middle East | DW.DE | 04.07.2014

'Unfortunately we are ruled by a tribe' | Middle East | DW.DE | 04.07.2014 | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"...

I'm sure our struggle is going to continue, and that we will use all peaceful means, all legitimate means recognized by the international community. We do not believe in the use of violence. Everyone knows the fight is costly and painful, but Bahrainis are willing to continue, and to pay the price. Stopping or going back is not an option.

How has the human rights situation changed in the two years you were in detention?

Since I was detained, the number of prisoners has doubled, the number of jails has doubled, the number of arbitrary arrests has increased, discrimination and marginalization against the Shia community is worse than ever in the history of this country. But at the same time, there are fewer media reports, fewer statements from civilized governments. That makes people angry.

Every international media outlet covers 20,000 people protesting in Ukraine, but when 200,000 in a country of just 700,000 take to the streets, it is not reported. And that is very disappointing. We are marginalized in the media at a regional and international level.

Western governments keep talking about democracy and human rights in countries such as Syria and Iran, but when it comes to the rich Gulf countries, they ignore our struggle. Even their media ignores our struggle.

That should not continue. Civilized nations have to react, because ignoring our situation makes people feel a sense of hopelessness and that will lead to the creation of extremist groups.

Activists accuse Western governmnents of turning a blind eye to the ongoing repression

How would you like to see Western governments act?

In the same way they act in other countries. They should have one language and one standpoint, whether on Iran, Syria, Iraq or China. They should be straightforward with all governments, no matter how rich they are or what business they do. Otherwise they lose credibility - which is what is happening now.

The unrest in Bahrain is often portrayed as sectarian. Is that how you see things?

The ruling family is Sunni. The ruling family is repressive. It's true that the majority of protesters are Shia, because the majority of the population is Shia, but we are not against the family's religion - we are against their policies, attitude and behavior. The ruling family tries to present it as a Shia-Sunni issue, but we are not against the Sunni people.

I come from a mixed family and our revolt is against the ruling family that wants to keep all the power. We are struggling to share this power. Seventy percent of our government is from one family, we have had the same prime minister for more than 40 years. This system can't continue. It is time for democracy, justice and human rights. We are a civilized, educated nation. But unfortunately we happen to be ruled by a tribe....."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: A message of thanks from newly released prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab

Bahrain: A message of thanks from newly released prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"...

The authorities arrested me in order to send a message that you will be arrested if you publicly defend human rights in Bahrain. Strangely enough they were not aware that in this way, they have created hundreds of activists who will follow the same path as me.

...

I and my colleagues at BCHR have won numerous human rights awards for defending the civil and human rights of all Bahrainis. We will continue our work because there are still many political prisoners, including prisoners of conscious, being held on trumped-up charges...."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Nabeel Rajab: The problematic success of 'human rights' in the Arab world

Nabeel Rajab: The problematic success of 'human rights' in the Arab world | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Is there space for dialogue with the government in Bahrain?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahraini rights activist released

Bahraini rights activist released | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

In addition to his role with the BCHR, Mr Rajab is deputy secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Before his imprisonment in July 2012, Mr Rajab was repeatedly detained in connection with the pro-democracy protests that erupted in the Gulf kingdom the previous year.

The Bahraini authorities have come under international pressure to release Mr Rajab

Amnesty said that he was punched in the face several times by riot police as he led a demonstration in February 2012, and in May 2012 was charged with "insulting a national institution" in comments about the interior ministry he posted on Twitter.

In June 2012, Rajab was sentenced to three months in jail over different tweets he wrote about the prime minister. The conviction was eventually overturned on appeal, but only after he had begun his two-year sentence for taking part in unauthorised protests.

At his trial, Mr Rajab told the court that he had been held in dire conditions and subjected to ill treatment, including being placed in solitary confinement with a dead animal and kept almost naked.

BCHR's founder, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is serving a life sentence for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. He was convicted on evidence that was widely accepted as having been secured under torture.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Spencer Haskins
Scoop.it!

Bahrain: Call for the immediate implementation of the United Nations Opinion on Nabeel Rajab's case / January 13, 2014 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT

Bahrain: Call for the immediate implementation of the United Nations Opinion on Nabeel Rajab's case / January 13, 2014 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Attn. H.M. King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa

His Majesty the King of Bahrain

Fax: 00 973 1766 4587

 

H.E Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa

Head of the Royal Court

Fax: 00 973 17664949

 

Cc: H.R.H Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa

Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister

Fax: 00 973 17713630

 

H.E. Shaikh Rachid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa

Interior Minister

Fax: 00 973 172326611

 

H.E Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa

Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Fax: 00 973 17531284

 

H.E Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Fax: 00 973 17225077

 

H.E Navi Pillay

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Fax: 00 41 22 917 9008

Email: npillay@ohchr.org

 

 

Paris-Geneva, January 10, 2014

 

 

Re: Call for the immediate implementation of the United Nations Opinion on Nabeel Rajab's case.

 

Your Majesty, 

 

FIDH (the International Federation for Human Rights) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, call upon the highest authorities of Bahrain to guarantee without any further delay the release of Mr.Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and Deputy Secretary General of FIDH.

 

Mr. Nabeel Rajab has been detained at the central prison in Jaw since July 9, 2012. Initially sentenced to three-months’ imprisonment for having “insulted statutory bodies” in a Twitter message, he was later sentenced to three years' imprisonment on August 16, 2012, while still in detention. Mr. Rajab was sentenced on two others protest-related charges: participation in “illegal gatherings” and calling for manifestation without prior notification in Manama, as well as incitement to gatherings and “illegal marches” through social medias. In December 2012, his sentence was reduced to two years in appeal.

 

The detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajab was characterised as arbitrary by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) at its 66th session. This decision, published on July 25, 2013, follows a communication addressed by the Observatory on August 31, 2012 to challenge the legality of Mr. Rajab’s detention. In its Opinion A/HRC/WGAD/2013/12, the WGAD considered that the detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajab contravenes articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and articles 9, paragraph 1, 14, 21 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

 

Bahrain acceded to the ICCPR in 2006; it is thus legally binding on the country. Article 9 of the ICCPR enshrines the rights not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained and to be informed of charges. Article 14 guarantees the right to a prompt and fair trial. Article 19 protects the right to freedom of expression, Article 21 the right to peaceful assembly and Article 22 the right to freedom of association. The peaceful exercise of the rights of freedom of opinion, expression and association is legitimate and necessary in any democratic society.  

 

The right to a fair trial, enshrined in Article 14, includes access to counsel, production of evidence and defence witnesses. Since Mr. Rajab’s arrest on May 5, 2012, a number of court hearings have taken place where these rights have been partially respected, including denial of timely facilitation for foreign witnesses to attend the hearing as well as showing video evidence in camera. The WGAD added that the courts of Bahrain would have to “confront and rule on the matter of the legality of the law banning public demonstrations”, and that “denial of a universally accepted human right to freedom of opinion and expression cannot be condoned by a domestic court, as seen in the case of Mr. Rajab”.

 

The Working Group requested the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain to take necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Rajab and bring it into conformity with the standards and principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR. The adequate remedy would be to immediately release Mr. Rajab and to accord him an enforceable right to compensation in accordance with article 9, paragraph 5, of the ICCPR. The WGAD also encouraged the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain to bring its domestic laws into conformity with the substantive provisions of the Covenant to which it is a party.

 

Thereafter, on December 2, 2013, the Bahraini Court of Appeals examined the request filed by Mr. Nabeel Rajab’s lawyers for an early release and decided not to grant such release without providing any grounds. A representative from the United States Embassy was even prevented from observing this court hearing. Previously, on November 24, a penalty enforcement judge had issued the same decision. During the session, Mr. Rajab’s lawyers presented their arguments that Mr. Nabeel Rajab was eligible for early release in pursuance to the conditions laid under article 349 of the Criminal Procedural Code, which sets three conditions: that ¾ of the sentence has been served, good behaviour during detention and not being a threat to public security.

 

The proceedings failed to comply with the right to a fair trial as the court failed to properly examine the request for early release, failed to provide grounds for its decision and did not guarantee the public nature of the hearing. This decision blatantly contradicts WGAD's Opinion and suggests that the Bahraini judiciary does not care not only about conforming to international human rights standards but also about implementing domestic law in full independence.

 

Our organisations deeply regret the court’s refusal to grant an early release to Mr. Rajab, and deplore the judge’s decision that failed to provide any grounds. We consider this decision as an attempt to curtail Mr. Rajab’s activities as a human rights defender.

 

Mr. Rajab’s ongoing detention is arbitrary as it results from the exercise of his universally recognised human rights and as his right to a fair trial has not been guaranteed.

 

Our organisations therefore call upon the Bahraini authorities to immediately comply with the UN WGAD's decision and release Mr. Rajab immediately and unconditionally.

 

We more generally urge the Bahraini authorities to adhere to their international human rights obligations under the ICCPR and bring domestic law in conformity with international human rights instruments ratified by the country.

 

We express our sincere hope that you will take these considerations and requests into account.

 

Sincerely yours,          

 

Karim Lahidji                                                   Gerald Staberock

President of FIDH                                           Secretary General of OMCT

more...
No comment yet.