Index on Censorship welcomes yesterday’s release of prominent rights activist and Index 2012 Award winner Nabeel Rajab, and calls for all charges against the activist to be dropped.
Index Chief Executive Kirsty Hughes said: “We’re delighted that Nabeel has been released but there are many other activists in Bahraini prisons simply because they have criticised the government on social networking sites or attended protests. Despite their promises, the Bahraini government continues to harass political activists and deny its citizens the right to free expression and free assembly.”
Rajab, who is the head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was arrested on 5 May for “insulting an authority” and “organising illegal protests”. In March, the BCHR was awarded an Index advocacy award for its work in documenting human rights violations, political repression and torture in the gulf kingdom since protests began there last February. The founder of BCHR, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is in prison while awaiting a retrial after been jailed for life by a military tribunal for taking part in peaceful protests.