Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights calls for an immediate and unconditional release of Nabeel Rajab

16 June 2016 – During yesterday’s meeting of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), the Committee Chair, Ms Elena Valenciano (S&D, Spain) strongly condemned the incarceration of Nabeel Rajab and the imposition of travel bans on the delegation of Bahraini human rights activists travelling to Geneva at the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

In a press statement which followed the meeting, Ms Valenciano reminded that Nabeel Rajab was “arrested for simply exercising his right to freedom of expression and for his peaceful human rights work” in a move which “constitutes a blatant violation of Bahrain’s commitments under international human rights law.”

Ms Valenciano further noted the “increasing intimidation of human rights defenders in Bahrain” and urged the Bahraini authorities to “put an end to the persecution of human rights defenders in the country and to unconditionally and without further delay release Nabeel Rajab.”

Earlier this week, on his Twitter account, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis called Nabeel Rajab’s arrest and the treatment of human rights activists and the political opposition in Bahrain “matters of deep concern.“

European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights strongly welcomes Ms Valenciano’s and Mr Lambrinidis’ comments and urges Members of the European Parliament and other EU policy makers, including the European External Action Service and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, to deliver on their commitment to the defence of human rights and the freedom of speech and to openly condemn the latest attacks on human rights activists, political opposition and civil society in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

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