Viasna welcomes release of colleague Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain!
Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Deputy Secretary General of FIDH get out of jail on May 24 after being detained for more than 600 days.
The news of the release of our colleague is warmly welcomed by members of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, whose leader and FIDH vice-president Ales Bialiatski remains behind bars for political reasons.
“Nabeel Rajab was trying to exercise his right to peaceful assembly in a country with total and systematic human rights violations. And it is for his human rights work that he was illegally sentenced,” says member of Viasna’s Board, Uladzimir Labkovich. “When in prison, Nabeel continued to support his fellow political prisoners from other countries. He repeatedly expressed solidarity with Ales Bialiatski and was closely watching his fate. Nabeel’s internal courage inspires us all, human rights defenders working under the constant threat of detention.”
Viasna welcomes the release of Nabeel Rajab
“On 11 December 2012, the Court of Appeals sentenced him to two years in prison for “calling for manifestation”. He was held in the central prison in Jaw,” says a press-release by the FIDH press-service released on May 24.
Nabeel Rajab with his family following his release on May 24
“It is an immense pleasure to see our friend and colleague Nabeel again. We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time”, said Amina Bouayach, FIDH Secretary General, who travelled to Manana to be there when Nabeel Rajab was released.
“Nabeel served his full term. He was not granted a pardon nor did he benefit from early release even though the law provides for it. This is but one example, if any were needed, of the determination of the authorities to silence anyone who denounces human rights violations in Bahrain”, said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
FIDH Paris office staff show support for Nabeel Rajab
FIDH Brussels office staff support Nabeel Rajab
At its 66th session in June 2013, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions characterised the detention of Nabeel Rajab as arbitrary.
Many people are still in prison in Bahrain for having exercised their right to freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, freedom of association. FIDH noted that despite repeated promises, the Bahraini authorities have not implemented the recommendations dating back to November 2011 from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) mandated by the King of Bahrain. The BICI which investigated violations committed during the repression of the protest in 2011, had especially called on the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience.