International NGOs condemn imprisonment sentence on the leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab
Amnesty International: Bahrain must release activist after 'hollow' appeal verdict
“The appeal court’s gesture to reduce Nabeel Rajab’s sentence by one year is completely hollow given that he shouldn’t be serving any time in prison in the first place,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Nabeel has done nothing wrong, except peacefully express his views. A two-year prison sentence, just like a three-year sentence, is an insult and an injustice that can only be rectified by releasing him.”
The activist’s conviction was upheld a day after the King of Bahrain spoke effusively of the kingdom’s respect for human rights.
The observatory: BAHRAIN: Nabeel Rajab sentenced to two years in appeal: a sad day for the defence of human rights
“Today’s shameful ruling in appeal shows once again the determination of the Bahraini authorities to keep on silencing critical voices in the country. With this decision in appeal, our Deputy Secretary General will remain detained arbitrarily simply because he dared conducting human rights activities in the country”, FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen said today. “We will continue to demand his immediate and unconditional release”, Amina Bouayach, FIDH Vice President added. Ms. Bouayach was mandated by the Observatory to attend today’s verdict in the framework of an international trial observation mission.
“We deplore Nabeel Rajab’s sentencing, which is one more evidence of the continued criminalisation of human rights defenders’ activities in Bahrain”, said OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock. “We call upon the Bahraini authorities to guarantee in all circumstances his physical and psychological integrity, as well as to ensure that human rights defenders can operate without fear of harassment in the country”, he added.
Human Rights First: Bahraini Court Reaffirms Rajab Conviction, Reduces Sentence
“Nabeel is recognized as one of the most respected human rights defenders in the world. Locking him up for two years only deepens Bahrain’s human rights crisis and makes a solution more remote,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “ Senior figures in the Bahrain government speak about the need for judicial reform and ending selective enforcement of the law, but today’s verdict, yesterday’s jailing of human rights activist Zainab Al Khawaja and the continued detention of other civil society leaders show what’s really happening.”
IFEX condemns verdict in Bahraini rights defender's case
(IFEX) 11 December 2012 – IFEX, the largest global network of free expression organisations, joins other human rights organisations worldwide to condemn the verdict upholding the prison sentence of well-known human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, President of IFEX member the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). An appeals court in Manama today reduced the sentence from three years to two years in prison for calling for and participating in peaceful gatherings on three occasions.
“If the Kingdom of Bahrain is interested in improving its image abroad, now is the time to free human rights defenders like Nabeel who are in jail merely for exercising their right to free expression and free assembly,” said Annie Game, Executive Director of IFEX. “Money spent on public relations companies and celebrity visits would be better spent taking action on the recommendations of the United Nations and the inquiry mandated by the King, which called for an end to the detention of prisoners of opinion.
Front Line Defenders: Bahrain: Update – Sentence of human rights defender Mr Nabeel Rajab reduced
Front Line Defenders reiterates its calls on the Bahraini authorities to quash the conviction of Nabeel Rajab, to drop any outstanding charges against him and to effect his immediate and unconditional release, as we believe the charges against him are motivated solely by his peaceful and legitimate activities defending human rights in Bahrain.