The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) condemns the sentencing of Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rabaj to six months in prison over his right to freedom of expression. The sentence was finalised yesterday as the judge dismissed Mr Rajab’s appeal in court.
ECDHR is very concerned about the situation Human Rights defenders and other peaceful activists and protesters find themselves in Bahrain, where authorities have no regard for basic rights, such as freedom of expression, and conduct arbitrary sentences and even ill-treatment and torture against dissidents. ECDHR has issued a public statement against Mr Rajab’s imprisonment and calling upon the European Union to take urgent action.
Please read our statement here.
In addition, on May 26 Nabeel Rajab appeared before the Court relating the recent charges against him for exposing torture at Jau prison and criticising war against Yemen. He might face 10 years imprisonment under these charges.
The current case is still under investigation by the Public Prosecution in Bahrain. As Nabeel Rajab is already imprisoned as explained above (over the tweet he wrote in September 2014) the Public Prosecution did not need to renew his pre-trial detention this time.
The Public Prosecution now needs to decide whether to refer the recent case to the High Court and start the trial or whether to close it. It is unclear when this decision will be made.