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'Thank you,' recently released Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab tells IFEX

Nabeel Rajab, the president of IFEX member Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was released on 24 May 2014 after serving a two-year jail sentence for calling for pro-democracy protests. In the letter below, he tells us how valuable it is to be a part of the IFEX network.

Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab (left) speaks to his neighbour after his release from jail in Manama, 24 May 2014
Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab (left) speaks to his neighbour after his release from jail in Manama, 24 May 2014

Reuters

Dear members and staff of IFEX,

I'm writing this letter to say a BIG thank you to all of you!

Thank you for all your time and endless efforts to ensure my release from prison in Bahrain after serving a two-year sentence.

I'm a victim of peacefully exercising my rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, and IFEX has contributed through its members across the world to my release.

I'm so proud to be part of IFEX's extended family; you are among the few who I communicated with while in prison.

It was a difficult two years. I was practically in solitary confinement. The authorities kept me in a remote building isolated from other prisoners of conscience, sharing the cell with three or four people convicted on prostitution-related charges.

You continually showed your solidarity. In meetings while I was serving the two-year sentence, you put up my picture. You took photos with messages demanding my release.


During her visits, my wife Sumaya always talked about your effective campaigns – in particular, your campaign counting down my release – in addition to your appeals and calls asking about my latest news. All this gives me a lot of strength to continue my human rights struggle for the good of everyone.

Your valuable work has given me extra energy to stand against the attempts of authorities to stop my peaceful human rights work. You made me feel that I was not alone in prison, and that the world stands with me in defending the human and civil rights of all citizens in Bahrain and other Gulf countries.

Thank you again, IFEX. I hope to visit you soon in order to thank you face to face. I and my colleagues at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) will continue our work in defence of civil rights in full cooperation with you and other freedom lovers on this planet.

Nabeel Rajab, president of Bahrain Center for Human Rights

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