On 13 June 2016, security forces arrested leading human rights defender and IFEX member Nabeel Rajab, and he has been held in detention ever since, despite his failing health.
Please show your support for Nabeel by joining our Twitter campaign calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
Not one more day! Free human rights defender Nabeel Rajab now! #2Years #BehindBars #FreeNabeel #Bahrain
On 13 June 2016, security forces arrested leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. Nabeel is President of IFEX member the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Founding Director of IFEX member the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Deputy Secretary General of FIDH and Advisory Committee member of Human Rights Watch's Middle East Division. Nabeel's arrest came in a series of repressive actions to severely restrict the work of civil society in the Kingdom of Bahrain, with multiple cases pending against him.
In one case, Nabeel was charged with “publishing and broadcasting false news that undermines the prestige of the state” in relation to three televised interviews in 2015 and 2016, carrying a penalty of up to 3 years in prison if convicted. On 10 July 2017, Nabeel was sentenced in absentia to 2 years in prison for these charges.
In a second case, Bahraini authorities charged Nabeel for comments on Twitter criticizing the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, and documenting allegations of torture in Bahrain's Jau Prison. Nabeel faced three charges in relation to those tweets, including “defaming a statutory body,” “offending a foreign country,” and “disseminating false news in a time of war,” for which the penalty is up to 15 years in prison. On 21 February 2018, Nabeel was sentenced in absentia to 5 years in prison for these charges.
Nabeel also faces two additional cases opened against him during his detention for op-eds he published from prison in international news sources the New York Times and Le Monde, charged with “intentionally broadcasting false news and malicious rumours abroad impairing the prestige of the state” and “spreading false information and tendentious rumors that insult Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and harm their relations” respectively, and could lead to further sentences of imprisonment.
What you can do
Join our Twitter campaign by clicking the tweet button above and demanding Nabeel's immediate and unconditional release.
Have a few more minutes?
Tweet a message or photo of support to @NABEELRAJAB and @IFEX with the hashtag #FreeNabeel.
Thank you for your support.