Summary: Concern grows for health of imprisoned human rights defender Nabeel Rajab

11th August 2016: SRT grantee the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is concerned about the deteriorating health of its president, leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, who has been detained since 13th June. Rajab, the founder of BCHR and Founding Director of SRT grantee the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, is facing up to 15 years in prison for a number of charges related to tweets and retweets concerning torture allegations at Jau Prison and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Rajab’s wife reports that on 5th August Bahraini authorities postponed his urgent hospital appointments until early September. He was due to attend a consultation with specialists to discuss operations to remove gallstones and treat an ulcer on his back. According to information received by BCHR, the ulcer has now worsened and is bleeding, probably due to the poor conditions in detention. The authorities have also postponed a further consultation with a blood disease specialist to discuss Rajab’s low white blood cell count (a condition had not experienced prior to his detention). On 28th June he was transferred to hospital on an emergency basis due to an irregular heartbeat (his only access to specialist medical treatment since his arrest).

Since 13th June Rajab has been held in solitary confinement in extremely poor and unsanitary conditions at West Riffa police station. The toilet and shower are filled with potentially disease-carrying sludge, and there is little or no water in the bathroom. BCHR believes that the poor conditions in which Rajab is being held are causing his deteriorating health.

BCHR is deeply concerned about Nabeel Rajab’s wellbeing. They are calling on the international community to press for his basic human rights to be respected, for his immediate and unconditional release, and for an end to the Bahraini government’s reprisals against human rights defenders. They have shared a Twitter hashtag, #ReleaseNabeel, and a Facebook page to raise awareness of the case.

Full coverage from BCHR’s website:

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