20th December 2016: Bahraini and international human rights organisations, including nine SRT grantees, today sent a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, and copying in Special Rapporteur on Free Expression David Kaye, and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Michele Forst. The letter urges the office of the High Commissioner to call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release detained human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and drop the charges against him.
Mr Rajab is being tried on charges regarding tweets and retweets addressing torture in Bahrain’s Jau Prison, as well as criticizing Bahrain’s participation in Saudi Arabia-led military operations in Yemen. He is also charged with “undermining the prestige of the state” for his open letter which was written during his time in detention and was published in the New York Times on 4 September 2016. In the letter, he states that he was threatened into silence after being released from detention in July 2015. If convicted, Rajab faces up to 15 years in prison.
The full text of the letter can be read here.
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