The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is deeply concerned about the health and well-being of Nabeel Rajab. Rajab is at the time of writing in hospital following complications after a surgery. He has been subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment and has not been given appropriate medical care for his condition. BCHR strongly condemns Bahrain’s treatment of Nabeel Rajab and other political prisoners, and call on the government to release them.
According to updates from Nabeel Rajab’s family, Rajab underwent surgery for a bleeding ulcer on 5 April. After the surgery Rajab was reportedly forced to wear dirty clothes soaked with blood and did not get access to hygiene products for two days. He was denied a family visit and was brought back to solitary confinement two days after the surgery with high risk of infection and in need of immediate, specialized care.
On 8 April, Nabeel was allowed a brief family visit, but was shortly afterwards rushed to hospital again. At the time of writing, Rajab remains in hospital to get treatment for the infected wound.
Nabeel Rajab is facing charges related to tweets and retweets about torture allegations at Jau Prison and the Saudi-led war in Yemen. He is also facing charges in another case concerning tv interviews given during 2015. The hearings for both cases have continuously been postponed and Rajab has remained in pretrial detention for over 310 days.
The degrading and dehumanizing treatment of prisoners - a situation that has intensified following a crackdown on prisoners’ rights at Jau Prison in 2015 - violates human rights standards and the United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules). Nabeel Rajab is voluntarily maintained in a situation of extreme vulnerability and the Bahraini authorities should be called to take immediate steps to protect Nabeel from further degrading and other inhumane treatment, to ensure that he is treated humanely in accordance with international law and standards and allow an international monitor to visit him.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on Bahrain as well as the international community to press for Nabeel Rajab’s basic human rights to be respected, for his immediate and unconditional release, and for an end to the government of Bahrain’s reprisals against human rights defenders.