15 Oct: Press conference with recently freed Bahrain activist Maryam Alkhawaja

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Bahrain human rights defender and 2012 Index Award Winner Nabeel Rajab is being detained and facing trial under arrest for peacefully expressing his views on Twitter.

Please join Index on Censorship and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) for a press conference with Bahraini activist and Co-Director of Gulf Centre for Human Rights Maryam Alkhawaja, who was released from prison three weeks ago, to discuss Nabeel Rajab’s detention and the recent developments in Bahrain.

WHEN: Wednesday October 15 at 11.00am

WHERE: Index on Censorship office: 92-94 Tooley Street, SE1 2TH, London.

For more information and to RSVP, please email [email protected] or call 0207 260 2660

Background for editors

Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, is being charged for “insulting a public institution” over a tweet.

The arrest came less than 24 hours after Rajab returned to Bahrain from an advocacy trip where he spent over two months traveling throughout Europe to advocate for human rights in Bahrain. He also attended the UN 27th Human Rights Council Sessions to advocate for human rights in Bahrain and campaign for greater support to the Bahraini people’s struggle for rights and democracy.

Rajab was imprisoned in Bahrain for two years between July 2012 and May 2014 for exercising his right to freedom of assembly by participating in and calling for peaceful protests, in the capital city Manama, in defence of people’s rights. Before that he was prosecuted on multiple occasions for his tweets. Rajab has over 239,000 followers on twitter (@NabeelRajab) and his voice online is one of the most prominent in Bahrain, and across the Middle East. Following his release, Rajab continued to receive threats of repeated arrested, but was determined to continue with his peaceful human rights work.

Human rights activist Maryam Alkhawaja was released from prison in Bahrain in September but the charges against her still stand. Alkhawaja was arrested when she travelled to Bahrain to visit her father, prominent human rights defender and co-founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Abdulhadi Alkhawaja.

This will be her first UK press conference since her release.

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