Name: Nabeel Rajab
Occupation: Human rights activist
Age: 52, born in 1 September 1964
Current Situation: Detained since 13 June 2016 on a charge of discrediting Bahrain
Nabeel Rajab is a Bahraini human rights activist. He is the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Co-Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR). He is also the Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). On the 13th of June, 2016, the security forces stormed the home of Nabeel Rajab and detained him on a charge of “spreading false news and rumours about the internal situation in a bid to discredit Bahrain” in connection to some statements he made in TV interviews in early 2015 and 2016. Since his arrest, he has been held in solitary confinement and may face sentences of up to 15 years in prison.
On the 26th of June 2016, Rajab’s lawyer learned that the charges previously brought against his client with respect to freedom of opinion and expression- including those of “disseminating rumors in time of war” and “insulting a statutory body”- had been referred to the court. These charges were leveled against him for the first time in April 2015 and are related to tweets the activist posted criticizing the ongoing torture in Bahrain’s prisons and the human cost of the war in Yemen. Following his release upon a royal pardon issued in Ramdan month, these charges were suspended after he had served six months in prison in addition to the travel ban imposed against him. Besides the aforementioned accusations, new charges have been brought against Rajab. His court hearing has been postponed, for the second time, to September 5, 2016.
Nabeel Rajab’s health is deteriorating, as he suffers from chronic gallstones and skin conditions, and the authorities had refused to provide treatment for him. The activist has been rushed to Bahrain’s military hospital after suffering unprecedented heart problems after 15 days of solitary confinement. According to his family, Nabeel Rajab started to suffer an irregular heartbeat and was consequently moved to the Coronary Care Unit at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for a brief period of time.
Shortly thereafter, he returned to his solitary confinement cell. In a press statement from his wife Sumaya Rajab, she affirmed that “the family raised their extreme worries about the effects isolated detention would have on Nabeel’s health, especially that he started to suffer heart problems he never suffered before, but they were ignored by the authorities. My husband is a human rights defender and does not deserve this treatment”, she said.
Rajab started his human rights activity when he became involved in the 1990s uprisings in Bahrain. And after the Bahraini uprising of 2011, he became one of the renowned Arab Internet activists building up a following of 320,000 on his page on “Twitter”. Since the 2011 Arab Spring, Rajab had faced prosecution for several times and was repeatedly detained during 2012. He also served a two-year sentence in prison on a charge of “organizing unauthorized protests” during 2012-2014.
Following his release in 2014, Rajab launched a human rights advocacy mission in Europe. In the same year, he attended the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the European Parliament in Brussels besides visiting some European capitals. He also took part in twenty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council.
What can you do?
1- Send the Head of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister’s Court an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
or call: 17200000 – 17200000 demanding from the Prime Minister to release human rights activist Nabeel Rajab
Send some information or picture of Zainab Al-Khawaja along with her baby via “Facebook” or “Twitter”.
2- Write to the Ministry of Justice & Islamic Affairs through the following address: PO Box 450, Manama, Diplomatic Area, Bahrain, or call: 17513000 – Fax: 17536343,
Or communicate with the Ministry of Justice via website: http://www.moj.gov.bh/
demanding the release of rights activist Nabeel Rajab
3-Send an e-mail to the Shura Council on: email@example.com
calling for the release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab
5- Share some pictures and information about Nabeel Rajab on your “Facebook” and “Twitter” page