Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 73 | 74 | (Page 75) | 76 | 77 | .... | 79 | newer

    0 0

    Press briefing note by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: 

    "[...] We are deeply concerned that Nabeel Rajab, a co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was sentenced on 10 July to two years in prison simply for exercising his right to freedom of expression and opinion. We understand that he faces a further trial on separate charges also related to his exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

    We have raised our concerns with the Government of Bahrain on several occasions about the arrest and subsequent detention of Mr Rajab, who was found guilty and sentenced for “publishing and disseminating false news, statements and rumours about the internal situation of the kingdom that would undermine its prestige and status”.

    Human rights defenders in Bahrain must be able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals, and should not face detention or prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Criticising the Government should not be a crime. [...]"

    Read the briefing note here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    Although Bahrain’s 2011 uprising, which saw Shiites targeted and protesters violently silenced, seems a long time ago, the human rights situation continues to deteriorate in 2017. Human rights activists and freedom of expression are particularly at risk from a government increasingly intolerant of dissent.

    “The human rights situation is the worst it has been in the country’s modern history,” Khalid Ibrahim, director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, told Fanack. “There is no one to speak up, no space for civil society. Most of the prominent human rights defenders are in jail, sometimes tortured, have fled the country or are banned from leaving it if they work with the international community.”

    Read the full article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    Amnesty International calls on the Bahraini authorities to rescind their arbitrary decision to close the only independent newspaper in the country, al-Wasat, and end its all-out campaign to crush freedom of press. This call comes over a month after the Ministry of Information indefinitely suspended the newspaper and as the authorities’ crackdown on all forms of peaceful criticism intensifies. The organization also calls on the authorities to reverse their arbitrary decision not to renew the accreditation of prominent journalist Nazeeha Saeed and other journalists and for Nazeeha Saeed’s conviction for working without a permit to be quashed.

    Read full article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    Bahraini human rights defender, Ebtisam al-Saegh, has been under continuous and lengthy interrogation since her arrest on 3 July when she also started a hunger strike. She is at high risk of torture or other ill-treatment and requires urgent medical attention. Ebtisam al-Saegh is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally.

    Read the full article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    The UN human rights office has called on Bahrain to "unconditionally and immediately" release rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab, who was sentenced to two years in jail this week.

    Rajab, a leading figure in a 2011 pro-democracy uprising that was crushed by the government, was sentenced on Monday, supporters said, for allegedly making "false or malicious" statements about authorities.

    "Human rights defenders in Bahrain must be able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals and should not face detention or prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Criticising the government should not be a crime," UN human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell told a Geneva news briefing on Friday.

    Read the full article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Liz Throssel

    Location: Geneva

    Subject: (1) Venezuela (2) Bahrain

    (2) Bahrain

    We are deeply concerned that Nabeel Rajab, a co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was sentenced on 10 July to two years in prison simply for exercising his right to freedom of expression and opinion. We understand that he faces a further trial on separate charges also related to his exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

    We have raised our concerns with the Government of Bahrain on several occasions about the arrest and subsequent detention of Mr Rajab, who was found guilty and sentenced for “publishing and disseminating false news, statements and rumours about the internal situation of the kingdom that would undermine its prestige and status”.

    Read the full article here

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    On the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day 2017, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) whose President Nabeel Rajab has been described as being “the next Nelson Mandela”, is releasing a brief regarding Bahrain’s treatment of activists and political prisoners in Bahrain. The information is based on data collected from the start of this year.  According to reports from the ground, BCHR was able to document the harsh conditions that these prisoners are kept in, contrary to the the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, or the Nelson Mandela Rules.

    Bahrain’s largest male penitentiary is Jau prison. On 1 January armed men attacked the prison, freeing a number of inmates convicted for terrorism crimes and killing one security officer in the process. Following the escape, family members, human rights groups and prisoners stated that the prison conditions worsened significantly for the remaining political prisoners. According to their testimonies, prisoners in Building 7 were shackled when they left their cells, including for medical related purposes. In protest to the degrading practices inflicted by prison authorities, such as strip-searching inmates before attending medical appointments, prisoners refused to take part in meetings with medical staff despite facing serious consequences of poor physical health.

    Family members of prisoners from other buildings have stated that when prisoners were not shackled, they spent most of their time locked in their cells with limited or no access to toilets. As reported in March this year, the family visitation times had also been shortened from an hour to half an hour once every two-three weeks. Previously, in June 2016, telephone allowance was cut from 40 minutes to 30 minutes per week.

    More details on worsening detention prison conditions can be accessed in BCHR’s Annual Report: Bahrain 2016.

    The practices implemented by security forces, of shackling the prisoners for long periods of time and restricting their freedoms, go against the UN specification of standard minimum rules. As such, rule 47 states that “the use of chains, irons or other instruments of restraint which are inherently degrading or painful shall be prohibited” except in circumstances in which the prisoner is transferred into a different facility or when the prison director gives a short-term order for such actions. Rule 36 specifies that discipline and order shall be kept within the prison by no such means as through the restriction of prisoners’ rights and freedoms.

    Most prisoners jailed because of their activism are at a severe risk regarding their physical and mental health because of Bahrain’s poor record on allowing them access to proper medical care and on restricting access to or communication with family members.

    Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja (56), Human Rights Defender and former President of BCHR, who has served six years of his life sentence, is at imminent risk of losing his sight. According to family reports on his health back in March this year, Al-Khawaja had lost vision in his right eye during daylight hours and has headaches on the right side of his head and behind his right eye. The prison authorities did not allow him to go to his medical consultation without being bodily searched  and shackled. Al-Khawaja refused to go because of the invasive nature of the practices. He has also repeatedly gone on hunger strikes in protest of the poor conditions his fellow inmates are subjected to in Jau prison.

    Based on his family’s testimony Dr.Abduljalil Al-Singace (55), who needs crutches or a wheelchair because he suffers from sickle-cell anemia and polio, did not go to his medical appointment on March 12, because the prison authorities insisted he needed to be shackled.

    In May, family members of Mohamed Hassan Jawad (69) and Hasan Mshaima (69) reported that they had also refused to go to their medical appointments in protest of the authorities’ insistence that they be shackled and wear the prison uniform. Mshaima, who is a cancer survivor, had not had his Position Emission Tomography (PET) in eight months at the time of the reporting, although he is required to have it every six months.

    Abdulwahab Hussain (58), who has been subjected to torture and mistreatment during his imprisonment, has been consistently denied access to medical facilities, despite the fact that he suffers from chronic neurological disorder.

    Mohammed Habib Al-Miqdad (51) has been convicted in June 2011 to life in prison and since then has developed difficulty ingesting food as a result of the torture and injury that he has received to his abdomen. Prior to the diagnostic being given, Al-Miqdad suffered a year from acute stomach pain before the authorities allowed him treatment. 

    Denying access to medical facilities to imprisoned individuals is in direct violation of Rule 27 and 31 of the Nelson Mandela Rules. These two rules stipulate that inmates must have equal and unrestricted access to medical facilities, immediate access in case of medical emergencies and that medical professionals must be able to effectuate daily visits to their patients, if necessary, on a daily basis. Denying medical access to prisoners can lead to worsening medical conditions or risk to the individual’s life.

    On 16 March 2017, Mohammad Sahwandied of sudden cardiac arrest while serving his 15-year sentence for terror charges. Sahwan is the first political prisoner to die in Jau prison since 2011. His funeral procession, to which thousands of individuals gathered in mourning, was met with excessive force by security forces who attacked the crowd with tear gas and fired birdshot pellets at demonstrators.

    Most recently, Women’s Rights Defender Ebtisam Al-Saegh was arrested from her home without a warrant on 3 July. This is the second time she is arrested in the last months. On 26 May, she was interrogated for seven hours in Muharraq at the National Security Agency (NSA) building and, upon her release, had to be immediately hospitalised. She later stated that she had been beaten all over her body, kicked in the head and stomach, sexually abused by her interrogators, and that she was threatened with the safety of her family. BCHR believes that Al-Saegh is currently in grave danger of being tortured and sexually abused by security services.

    A number of the 175 recommendations from the UN-UPR review this year were made in relation to prison conditions in Bahrain, the releasing of prisoners of conscience and the investigation of allegations of prisoner mistreatment and torture. As such, the recommendations asked for the unconditional release of arbitrarily arrested individuals and of human rights defenders, such as BCHR’s President Nabeel Rajab. Regarding prison conditions, the recommendations asked for the immediate end of  use of torture, discrimination and other forms of impunity against detained individuals. The UN-UPR also recommended that Bahrain strenghtens and support the independence of  the local human rights  bodies tasked with investigating and prosecuting individuals responsible of mistreating and torturing prisoners. 

    BCHR is also concerned about the reportedly increased human rights restrictions and violations that are taking place in Bahraini prisons. Locking inmates in their cells for prolonged periods of time, restricting their access to bathrooms, keeping them shackled when out of their cells, shortening visitation and telephoning periods can have a long-lasting negative impact of the detained person’s mental and physical health.

     

    The BCHR call on Bahrain to

    • release immediately and unconditionally all persons detained or convicted on charges related to their fundamental human rights, including their freedoms of expression and assembly;
    • Ensure that prison authorities conform to Rules 27, 31, 36, 47 and all other rules as stipulated in the Nelson Mandela Rules;
    • Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture into the country to conduct an independent investigation in relations to prison conditions and the use of torture in detention facilities;
    • Ensure the independence and well-functioning of the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC), the Ombudsman, the National Institute for Human Rights, and the Special Investigations Unit so that they can take the necessary steps to investigate and prosecute all individuals and groups found guilty of mistreating or ailing in the mistreatment of detained individuals
    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    GENEVA (18 July 2017) – A group of United Nations experts* has expressed deep concern at the alleged arbitrary detention of Bahraini human rights defender Ebtisam Alsaegh amid reports she has been tortured and sexually abused and is now on hunger strike. 

    Read the article here.

    “Ms. Alsaegh has been denied her fundamental right to due process from the very moment of her arrest to this day,” the experts said. “We are very worried at information that her health has dramatically deteriorated in the last few days.” 

    According to reports received by the experts, Ms. Alsaegh was detained on 4 July when Bahraini security forces raided her home. She is reportedly being held in solitary confinement at Isa Town women’s prison, and is being transported daily to an unknown location where she is interrogated for up to 14 hours without access to a lawyer. 

    Previous to her detention, on 26 May, Ms. Alsaegh was subjected to a seven-hour interrogation by officers of the National Security Agency, during which she was kept blindfolded and forced to stand up, while reportedly being beaten all over her body and sexually assaulted. 

    “We express the gravest concern at these allegations of torture and ill-treatment suffered by Ms. Alsaegh and we fear that she may be currently subjected to further acts of torture,” the experts said. 

    “The use or incitement of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is absolutely prohibited, under all circumstances.” 

    The experts called upon the Government of Bahrain to strictly abide by its obligations under international human rights law. 

    “The Bahraini authorities have a duty to investigate all allegations of human rights violations committed against Ms. Alsaegh, including torture by security forces during interrogations, and to prevent their re-occurrence,” they emphasized. 

    Ms. Alsaegh’s alleged treatment comes amid an ongoing campaign of attacks and reprisals against human rights defenders and political activists in Bahrain. 

    “We reiterate our serious concerns regarding the wider context of a general crackdown and mounting pressure exerted on civil society and dissidents in Bahrain, the ongoing prosecution and punishment of human rights defenders, and especially intimidation and reprisals against people who have cooperated with UN human rights mechanisms,” the experts underscored. 

    The experts are in contact with the Government of Bahrain about Ms. Alsaegh’s situation.   

    (*) The experts: Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Mrs. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Mr. José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, current Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

    ENDS 

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    The Bahraini government recently shuttered the country's only independent newspaper. Exiled journalist Nazeeha Saeed writes that the media can no longer hold the region's leaders accountable.

    In June the Bahraini Ministry of Information Affairs shut down the Arabic-language daily Al Wasat, the country's only independent media outlet, "until further notice" because it was in "violation of the law" and had repeatedly published "information that sows division in society and affects Bahrain's relations with other states," according to a statement by the ministry that was published by a Bahraini news agency.
     
    Read the article here.
    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Bahraini authorities to overturn journalist Nazeeha Saeed’s conviction on a charge of working illegally, which has been upheld on appeal. RSF also calls on the authorities to stop violating media freedom.

    A Manama appeal court today confirmed the fine of 1,000 dinars (2,320 euros) that a lower court imposed on Saeed on 24 May for working as a correspondent for foreign media without authorization. She used to be the Bahrain correspondent of two French media outlets, France 24 and Radio Monte-Carlo Doualiya.

    Read the article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Bahraini rights group says a female activist has been charged under an anti-terrorism law amid a crackdown on dissent in the U.S.-allied Gulf island nation.

    The London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said Wednesday that Ebtisam al-Sayegh was one of four people accused of using human rights work as a cover for terrorism-related activities.

    Read the article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    The Bahraini authorities’ decision to bring terrorism charges against Ebtissam al-Saegh, a human rights defender detained since 3 July 2017, is a chilling blow to human rights in the country, said Amnesty International.

    Ebtisam al-Saegh was previously tortured, including by being sexually assaulted by members of the Bahrain National Security agency while she was held in custody last May.

    “Ebtisam al-Saegh is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released. Her only ‘crime’, is her bravery in challenging the government’s appalling human rights record. By charging her with terrorism for her work on human rights, the Bahraini government is itself attempting to intimidate and silence civil society in Bahrain,” said Samah Hadid, Director of Campaigns for the Middle-East at Amnesty International.

    Read the article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    The Bahraini authorities’ decision to bring terrorism charges against Ebtisam al-Saegh, a human rights activist detained earlier this month, is a chilling blow to human rights in the country, said Amnesty International.

    Yesterday, Ms al-Saegh was charged by Bahrain’s Terrorism Crimes Prosecution office with “using human rights work as a cover to communicate and cooperate with Al Karama Foundation to provide them with information and fake news about the situation in Bahrain to undermine its status abroad”. 

    Read the article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    Bahrain has slapped terrorism charges on an activist who tweeted criticism of the government's treatment of women, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

    Ebtisam al-Saegh was accused of "using human rights work as a cover" to communicate with the Geneva-based Al Karama foundation, and of undermining Bahrain's "status abroad", Amnesty reported.

    Read the article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    Last month in Bahrain, one of the Gulf region's few truly independent media outlets, Al Wasat, closed its doors.

    On 4 June, the Bahraini Ministry of Information informed Al Wasat that it would immediately suspend the newspaper’s online and print editions over a column that included “a defamation of a sisterly Arab country.” The opinion piece in question, published on 4 June, addressed the wave of protests calling for jobs and economic development in Al Hoceima and other cities in Morocco.

    Al Wasat, which covers Bahrain and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa regions, is unique in that it has no ties either to government or to individuals close to a ruling family.

    Read the article here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0

    On 19 July, woman human rights defender Ebtisam Al-Saegh, member of Salam for Democracy and Human  Rights, was charged by Bahrain’s Terrorism Crimes Prosecution office with “using human rights work as a cover” in order to provide the NGO Al Karama Foundation with information and fake news about Bahrain in order to undermine the country’s prestige abroad. Under this charge, Al-Saegh faces up to six months detention, while her case is being investigated.

    On 18 July, one day before Al-Saegh was charged under the anti-terrorism law, the United Nations published an urgent appeal to Bahrain’s government to investigate the allegations that the defender has been tortured and ill-treated while in detention. The Special Rapporteurs stated: “we express the gravest concern at these allegations of torture and ill-treatment by Ms. Al-Saegh and we fear that she may be currently subjected to further acts of torture”. Prior to this appeal, on 13 July, the US State Department also called for her release, and the Office the High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Bahrain to investigate the allegations of torture and mistreatment surrounding her case.

    According to reports, Al-Saegh’s health has dramatically worsened during her detention, as she allegedly has been tortured and sexual assaulted. According to updates from the ground, Al-Saegh is interrogated by security officers daily for up to 13 hours in an undisclosed location and then returned to Isa women’s detention center where she is kept in solitary confinement. In protest of her mistreatment and of the fact that she has not been given access to her family, or to her lawyer during interrogations, Al Saegh has started a hunger strike.

    The defender was arrested on 3 July from her home without a warrant. On 6 July her house was raided for electronic equipment by the National Security Agency (NSA). The reason that was given for the raid to family members was that  "your mother didn't cooperate with us".

    This is the second time in 2017 that Ebtisam Al-Saegh is arrested. On 26 May, Al-Saegh was summoned to the NSA building in Muharraq where she was interrogated for seven hours. Afterwards, she was immediately hospitalised as she was in a shock and unable to walk. She later stated that she was kept standing for the whole duration of her interrogation. She was blindfolded, hit all over her body and head. Al-Saegh also stated that she was tortured and sexually assaulted, and that she was threatened with the safety of her family and children if she did not stop her human rights activism or being part of the SALAM organization.

    The Bahraini government must immediately stop abusing woman human rights defender Ebtisam Alsaegh and put in measures to protect her. Those who have assaulted and sexually abused her must be held accountable. The BCHR calls for her immediate release and of all nonviolent activists and detainees held arbitrarily due to their human rights work.



     

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    On 18 July 2017, a Manama appeals court confirmed the verdict of a lower Bahraini court in the case of Nazeeha Saeed, correspondent for Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya and France 24, who was was charged on 17 July 2016 with “practicing journalism without a license.” Saeed was met with a fine of 1,000 dinars (2,320 euros) which the appeals court has now confirmed. Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the Government of Bahrain to revisit her case and to immediately cease all intimidation and judicial harassment of journalists and media. 

    Nazeeha Saeed had a Bahraini press accreditation for 12 years. She applied to renew this in March 2016, in accordance with the Bahraini press law. The Ministry of Information Affairs rejected Saeed’s license renewal without providing legal grounds.
    She continued her work and was met with a fine of 1,000 dinars (2,320 euros) in a Bahraini lower court. She was also banned from leaving the country without explanation. She appealed the case. 
    Saeed was charged under the “publishing crimes” chapter, in Article 88 of Law 47/2002, under which all Bahraini journalists working for foreign news agencies are prevented from freely conducting their work without first acquiring a license from the Ministry of Information Affairs, which must be renewed annually. The law provides no criteria or definitive timelines for the renewal process, nor does it provide any means for transparency of the process. For more background information on Saeed’s case see here.
    On 18 July 2017 a Manama appeals court confirmed the fine. According to Saeed’s lawyer the court disregarded the fact that Saeed had kept working only whilst awaiting official notification of the decision not to renew her accreditation and, thus, had committed no offence. Her lawyer is now planning to file an appeal with Bahrain’s Court of Cassation but the court may not agree to hear it.

    Saeed is a torture survivor. Describing her torture in police custody in 2011, Saeed said she was blindfolded, kicked, punched, and slapped. Her hair was pulled, she was whipped with plastic tubing, had a shoe forced into her mouth and her head dunked into a toilet. An unknown, caustic liquid said to be urine was poured onto her face, she was repeatedly insulted and mentally abused and asked to make a false confession. Although she had three independant medical reports - two of them issued by Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior - and she was also able to identify her five torturers, no one was held accountable for her torture. During June and July 2016 Saeed faced further harassments and the government imposed a travel ban on her without any explanation. The ban was later lifted.

    Saeed’s trial is just one out of many examples of Bahrain’s systematic crackdown on the press. Most recently, in June this year, Al Wasat, the last independent newspaper in Bahrain was shut down by way of a court order. Most of Bahrain’s television and newspapers are state-controlled and this new wave of media repression is taking place in a broader context of shrinking space for any dissent voice, criminalization of activists and a significant rise of credible allegations of torture in police and military detention.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    Index on Censorship welcomes UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s interest in human rights. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2016 Annual Human Rights Report, released on Thursday 20 July, highlights the UK’s work to promote human rights around the world and sets out a list of 30 “Human Rights Priority Countries”, including Bahrain, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    In the report preface, Johnson writes: “Human rights are not inimical to development and prosperity; the opposite is true. Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to practice whatever religion you want and live your life as you please, provided you do no harm, are the essential features of a dynamic and open society.”

    Read the article here.

    Read the UK 2016 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 
    Issue: 

    0 0
  • 08/03/17--06:42: RETWEET FOR FREEDOM
  • FIDH: "It's hard to believe, but a tweet of fewer than 140 letters can land a human rights defender in jail these days.

    With its RETWEET FOR FREEDOM, FIDH hopes to obtain freedom for the forgotten defenders who are in prison for having tweeted. We need your help!"

    Read the callfor action here.

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    A Bahraini Court’s decision on August 8, 2017 to postpone issuing its verdict in the case of Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), demonstrates once again the inability of the Bahraini judicial system to uphold his rights to a fair trial. The ruling related to a series of anti-war and anti-torture tweets was postponed again until September 11, 2017. In this case, the prosecution has failed to provide details on the factual or legal basis for the charges and has repeatedly delayed proceedings undermining Nabeel Rajab's right to a fair trial.

    “International allies of Bahrain must hold accountable the Bahraini government who is eradicating all forms of peaceful dissent in the country. They should condemn the prosecution of our President who is the latest victim of Bahrain’s crackdown on all moderate voices and request his immediate and unconditional release” said BCHR today. “The serious criminal charges which include allegations of propagating false news are totally baseless and should be dropped”.

    The Bahraini Court has suspended its ruling against him in a case related to charges on tweets and re-tweets concerning the war in Yemen and torture allegations against prisoners in Jau.

    Rajab was charged of tweeting about the war in Yemen and the Bahraini authorities alleged that he is guilty of breaking Article 133. The article states that “a punishment of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years” can be inflicted upon an individual who during wartime deliberately propagates “false or malicious news.” The second tweet was related to allegations of torture taking place in Jau prison after a prison riot in March 2015. This tweet was found to be defamatory to one of Bahrain’s organizing bodies (the Ministry of Interior), an act which can be penalized in conformity with Article 216 of the Bahraini Penal Code. There is no publicly available evidence that BCHR President engaged in any form of speech or comment that could be qualified as defamation.

    Rajab is one of the most prominent human rights defenders in the Gulf and the Head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, he is also Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Deputy Secretary General of FIDH and a member of Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Committee.

    “Human rights defenders in Bahrain must be able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals, and should not face detention or prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” said the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell, referring to Nabeel Rajab’s case in July 2017.

    The UN is not the only institution that has protested Rajab’s unlawful detention, mistreatment and sentencing. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office condemned Rajab’s sentencing and called for Bahrain to respect its international obligations to protect human rights. The European Parliament, the United States and Norway have also released statements condemning the rights defender’s sentencing, additionally asking the Bahraini authorities to release Rajab on humanitarian grounds. Ten human rights NGOs, including BCHR, signed an open letter asking  nine embassies to be present at Rajab’s trial and to ensure that his rights were adequately protected.

    Rajab’s sentencing and detention period have been marred by allegations of mistreatment and the resulting impunity. For instance, prior to Rajab’s sentencing, he was in pretrial detention for more than a year, his trials having been postponed for a total of 26 times. Nine and a half months of Rajab’s detention period were spent in solitary confinement.

    Likewise, at times Rajab has been denied access to his lawyer and family, including on 3 July before the first sentencing, and in the weeks following the sentencing.


     

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

older | 1 | .... | 73 | 74 | (Page 75) | 76 | 77 | .... | 79 | newer