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Frontline Defenders: Bahrain - Detention of Mr Nabeel Rajab ordered by the public prosecution

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On 2 October 2014, the public prosecution in Bahrain ordered the detention of prominent human rights defender Mr Nabeel Rajab for seven days pending investigation.

On 1 October, Nabeel Rajab was summoned by the General Directorate of Anti-corruption and Economic and ELECTRONIC SECURITY of the Criminal Investigation Department where he was interrogated on charges of “insulting a public institution” via Twitter.

Nabeel Rajab is the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights. He has campaigned around the world to bring attention to human rights abuses in Bahrain, including the case of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, former President of the BCHR and Front Line Defenders staff member, who has been detained since April 2011, subjected to torture and sentenced to life imprisonment after a grossly unfair trial.

According to the website of the Ministry of the Interior in Bahrain, on 1 October 2014, Nabeel Rajab was summoned to be questioned in relation to “tweets posted on his Twitter account that denigrated government institutions.” The ministry further stated that “Mr. Rajab acknowledged the charges and the case has been referred to the Public Prosecutor.”

The human rights defender went to the Criminal Investigation Department, accompanied by his LAWYER, and was interrogated on charges relating to “insulting a public institution” via Twitter. He was subsequently arrested to appear before the prosecution the following morning. He is being held at Hoora Police station in Manama.

Nabeel Rajab's arrest came shortly after he ended a two-month advocacy trip throughout Europe to advocate for human rights in Bahrain, but the human rights defender has also faced a long pattern of harassment, which has included various forms of intimidation and arrest, as a result of his peaceful work in promoting human rights.

Front Line Defenders expresses its concern at the pattern of intimidation and harassment against Nabeel Rajab. It is believed that his detention is solely related to his legitimate and peaceful human rights activities promoting and protecting human rights in Bahrain. Front Line Defenders is further concerned at the increasing prosecution of social media activists advocating for human rights in Bahrain.

 

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/27431

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