Update to statement of 13 June 2016
News reports confirmed today, 14 June 2016, that Bahrain authorities presented charges against prominent human rights advocate Nabeel Rajab. At 12:00 noon Manama time he was reportedly transferred to general prosecutor office where he was charged with “spreading false information that aims at weakening state’s cohesiveness”. He is currently imprisoned for 7 days pending investigations.
MENA human rights defenders and advocates reaffirm their call on Bahrain government to immediately release Nabeel Rajab and drop charges against him. These charges constitute serious breaches to rights to peaceful freedom of expression guaranteed by domestic and international law.
On 13 June 2016, and with grave concern, we received the news of detention of Bahraini human rights advocate and defender, Nabeel Rajab, this morning. News reports confirmed that a security force sieged Rajab’s house, stormed and searched it, and arrested him without giving any justification.
We, as group of Middle East and North Africa human rights advocates, condemn the arrest of Nabeel Rajab that apparently aimed at terrorizing and intimidating the country’s human rights activists and stifle their peaceful activism. Arrest of Rajab came shortly after authorities prevented members of a human rights group from traveling to participate in the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and also after exiling prominent rights advocate Zainab al-Khawaja.
The arrest of Nabeel Rajab coincided with the thirty-two session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. We believe his arrest on this occasion aim at retaliating at human rights defenders and activists that cooperate with the UN’s mechanisms related to protecting human rights.
Such practices against human rights activists reflect inconsistent policies in dealing with political issues of an entire nation seeking legitimate rights in freedom and democracy.
We, therefore, demand the Bahraini authorities to immediately release Nabeel Rajab with no delay, in addition to releasing of all consciousness prisoners in the country.
Shaimaa Abou Elkheir, Egypt
Bassam Alahmad, Syria
Fadi Al-Qadi, Jordan
Ahmed Mansoor, United Arab Emirates
Hadeel BuQrais, Kuwait
Mohamed Sultan, Bahrain
Ahmed Alsaffar, Bahrain
Fatin AlHalwachi, Bahrain
Nawaf Alhendal, Kuwait
Hala ِAld Dr. Elham Manea, based in Geneva
Mozn Hassan, Egypt
Sherif Mansour, Egypt
Mohamed Alzaabi, United Arab Emirates