We express our condemnation of the five-year prison sentence issued by the Bahraini Court of Cassation on 31 December 2018 against internationally recognised human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. He has already spent two years behind bars in a separate case, and this latest sentence will prolong his stay in prison until mid 2023.
Nabeel Rajab, who was detained on 13 June 2016 for his tweets criticising the Saudi-led war in Yemen, was subjected to an unfair trial that did not respect judicial impartiality. Instead, the Bahraini courts used arbitrary laws that criminalise freedom of expression.
The targeting of Nabeel Rajab takes place in the context of the systematic targeting of human rights defenders and civil society in Bahrain, many of whom have suffered a similar fate to Nabeel.
We therefore call upon the Government of Bahrain to immediately release Nabeel Rajab, lift restrictions placed upon human rights defenders and abide by the Paris Principles and international human rights conventions.
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights
Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights
Salam for Democracy and Human Rights