(24 July 2016)- Reports from Bahrain confirmed that on 21 June 2016, prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab was transferred to the Public Prosecution which extended his detention to an additional eight day period pending investigation over charges related to “publishing and disseminating false information in a bid to undermine the prestige of the state”.
We, the undersigned, were also informed that Mr. Rajab is enduring very poor conditions and that the prison administration denied him necessary treatment recommended by the doctor after examination, in which it was confirmed that he is suffering from gallstone and skin infections, The doctor confirmed his need to a surgical intervention to remove the stone, but the prison administration abstained from performing its duty and transferring him to the specialized medical care as he was not handed over a copy of the medical report.
Information received from his family points out that he is being held in extremely bad conditions, where he is kept in a solitary confinement since his detention on 13 July 2016. Rajab told his family that he is not allowed to get out of his cell at all times and is not allowed contact with anyone. His cell is very dirty and unhygienic and the prison administration refuses to enter the cleaning tools that his family brought to him, which threatens to aggravate the health situation of Mr. Nabeel Rajab.
Many international organizations, including the United Nations, international and regional human rights organizations, expressed their deep and strong concern about the recent arrest of Mr. Nabeel Rajab who has been detained several times for reasons related to his activism in defense of human rights. Many political and human rights figures also condemned the detention of Mr. Rajab. Some countries expressed their concern about the step taken by the Bahraini authorities which contradicts all their international commitments and speeches promising reforms. Whereas, the current events indicate that the human rights in Bahrain are being deteriorated unprecedentedly since the events of 2011.
This arrest coincides with the opening of the 32nd session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, where the Bahraini authorities prevented several human rights activists from traveling to attend the session. Mr. Rajab was also banned from travel before his detention. This emphasizes the ongoing crackdown by the Bahrain authorities on the peaceful human rights activists and defenders who collaborate with international human rights mechanisms, including those of the UN.
We call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nabeel Rajab since the only reason for his detention is related to his peaceful human rights activism which is locally and internationally guaranteed. We call upon the international community to uphold its responsibility towards protecting the human rights defenders and call upon its states to take all actions to exert pressures on the Government of Bahrain to release Mr. Nabeel Rajab and drop all charges against him, provide full protection for him, for his family and for all peaceful activists and allow them to exercise their noble duties in the defense and reinforcement of human rights.
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