On 9 July 2015, the European Parliament adopted an Urgency Resolution on Bahrain and, in particular, the case of Nabeel Rajab. Since 2011, the Human Rights situation in the Country has deteriorated and the ongoing repression of Human Rights Defenders, peaceful activists and political dissidents seems now stronger than ever. Peaceful protesters in Bahrain are charged with crimes related to their right to peaceful association and expression due the government’s intolerance of any form of dissent.
This Urgency Resolution highlights the case of the Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab, a man who dedicated his whole life to protecting Human Rights, in a country pockmarked by injustice. Nabeel is now serving a six months sentence in relation to a tweet he wrote in September 2014, and is now facing charges under another case linked to his freedom of expression and opinion. If convicted he could face up to 15 years in prison.
The Urgency Resolution also stresses the case of the “Bahrain 13”, a group of prominent Bahraini Human Rights Defenders, opposition leaders and peaceful activists (such as Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Naji Fateel and Abdulhadi al-Singace) all imprisoned for their leading role during the Bahrain uprising in 2011.
In the resolution, the European Parliament calls on the Bahraini government to immediatelly and unconditionally release all imprisoned Human Rights Defenders, including Nabeel Rajab and all political activists including al-Wefaq Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman, Majid Mida and the so-called “Bahrain 13”. Further, the urgency resolution reiterates its strong condemnation of the use of torture and other inhuman treatment against peaceful protesters, civilians and prisoners by Bahraini authorities.
We very much welcome the Urgency Resolution adopted by the European Parliament, and we call on the European Union to continue to address Human Rights abuses in Bahrain and in the Gulf Region. We urge the International Community to speak out against any form of Human Rights abuses and the Bahraini government to act in line with its commitments under International and Humanitarian law.
Respecting and protecting Human rights is one of the European Union’s fundamental values, the EU has the responsibility to publicly stand up against Human Rights violations and help prevent future abuses.