While accepting an Index award on behalf of BCHR this year, Rajab called for assistance from the international community, explaining that members of BCHR – which was banned by authorities in 2004 – have been detained, tortured or exiled while attempting to exercise fundamental rights and freedoms including free expression and freedom of assembly (freedom to protest).
The founder of BCHR, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, is in detention awaiting a retrial after been jailed for life by a military tribunal for taking part in peaceful protests. He has been on hunger strike for 88 days. And Rajab’s arrest comes only weeks after the arrest of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja’ daughter, Zainab Alkhawaja, who was detained after protesting for the release of her father during the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Earlier this week an international delegation of free expression organizations – including Index – were denied entry to the country.