Bahraini authorities once again target human rights activist Nabeel Rajab
13 Jun 2016
Nabeel Rajab during a protest in London in September (Photo: Milana Knezevic)

Nabeel Rajab during a protest in London in September (Photo: Milana Knezevic)

The Bahraini government’s ongoing attempts to silence Nabeel Rajab, one of the Middle East’s most prominent human rights defenders.

11 July
A coalition of international NGOs condemned Bahrain’s treatment of Rajab on the day of his trial on charges related to his freedom of expression. Separately a judge ordered the trial postponed to 2 August.

7 July
The European Parliament adopted, with a large majority, a resolution condemning recent human rights abuses performed by Bahraini authorities, and strongly called for an end to the ongoing repression against the country’s human rights defenders, political opposition and civil society.

28 June
Rajab was hospitalised for heart problems while in prison.

14 June
Bahraini authorities charged Rajab with ““spreading false news” and handed him a 7 day detention.

13 June
Rajab, president of the 2012 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award-winning Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was taken from his home early in the morning. According to reports, Rajab’s electronic devices were seized and no reason was given for his detention. Index immediately condemned the arrest.

22 January
NGOs appeal for lifting of arbitrary travel ban
Groups call on the Bahraini authorities to lift the arbitrary travel ban on human rights defender Nabeel Rajab in order that he be able to travel abroad with his family for the purpose of securing medical assistance for his wife, Sumaya Rajab. Nabeel Rajab is President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights and on the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East Division.


14 July
Bahraini king pardons rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab
Index welcomes King Hamad of Bahrain’s pardoning of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, who was in the third month of a six-month sentence connected to his expressing an opinion in a tweet. According to Bahrain’s official news agency, Rajab was pardoned over fears for his health. However, the country must do more to respect the freedom of expression of its citizens by dropping all charges against political prisoners whose so-called crimes have been to campaign for greater democratic rights, or expressing opinions.

9 July
Bahrain: Calls for release of Nabeel Rajab on global day of solidarity
Index on Censorship are taking part in a day of solidarity for imprisoned Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab on Thursday 9 July. The day was organised by Nabeel’s son Adam, and participants from across the world are sharing videos, photos and messages of encouragement using the hashtag #FreeNabeel.
Having been imprisoned between August 2012 and May 2014, Rajab was once again arrested in October 2014 and charged with “insulting a public institution”. His crime related to tweets in which he alleged that some Bahraini soldiers may have defected to the Islamic State, referring to Bahraini institutions as “ideological incubators”. In May, his six-month prison sentence was upheld.

28 May
Nabeel Rajab: Tyrannical regimes like Bahrain’s are buying the silence of democratic governments
Western politicians choose narrow economic interests over the human rights of millions of oppressed people, the jailed Bahraini human rights defender said in a speech delivered on his behalf to the 2015 Oslo Freedom Forum

11 May
Bahrain: End imprisonment of democracy campaigner Nabeel Rajab
Index on Censorship has condemned the latest extension to the detention of Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab on spurious charges. He was arrested in early April over comments made on Twitter regarding abuses at Bahrain’s Jaw prison and the crisis in Yemen. On 11 May, Bahraini authorities, who had already extended Rajab’s pre-trial detention several times, prolonged his detention for a further two weeks.

17 April
Bahrain must release Nabeel Rajab
Ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix this weekend in Bahrain, Index on Censorship calls on the government of Bahrain to release human rights activist Nabeel Rajab and fellow human rights defenders. Rajab — a winner of the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards in 2012 — was arrested on April 2 on charges involving a series of recent tweets and an opinion piece published in the Huffington Post. If he is convicted on all current charges, Rajab — who was only released from jail last May after two year’s detention — could face more than 10 years in prison.

13 April
End reprisals against leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab
We in the Bahrain and international human rights NGO community condemn the arrest and detention of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights defender in the Kingdom of Bahrain. On 4 April, the Bahrain Public Prosecution Office renewed Mr. Rajab’s pretrial detention for a further 15 days. We call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Rajab and to drop all charges against him.
On 2 April 2015, security forces surrounded Mr. Rajab’s home and arrested him in relation to two new charges involving a series of recent tweets and an opinion piece published in the Huffington Post.

4 March
Bahrain: Ruling on Nabeel Rajab appeal set for March 15
Index on Censorship award winner Nabeel Rajab was told today to expect a decision in his case on March 15. The travel ban against Rajab is still in place. Rajab was handed down a six month suspended sentence pending payment of a fine in January. He is seeking to overturn that verdict, which stems from a tweet that both the ministry of interior and the ministry of defence allege “denigrated government institutions”.

26 February
Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab summoned by police and fears new arrest
Nabeel Rajab, one of Bahrain’s most prominent human rights activists, says he has again been summoned by the police. He believes he will be handed down a new charge and that he could be arrested at any time. “Just to inform you that I was summoned today morning to attend the police station at the same time – and I came to know that the new charge against me will incitement of hatred against the regime,” Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and a member of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East Advisory Board, said in an email to supporters this morning.

20 January
Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab sentenced for a tweet
Human rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to six months, which would be suspended pending a fine, Rajab’s lawyer told the BBC. Rajab has been granted bail while he appeals the verdict in his case. In October a court ruled that Rajab would face criminal charges stemming from a single tweet in which both the ministry of interior and the ministry of defence allege that he “denigrated government institutions”. Rajab could have faced up to six years in prison.


29 October
Bahraini court postpones trial of Nabeel Rajab until 20 January
Nabeel Rajab has been freed without bail as a court postponed his trail until 20 January. A Bahraini court had ruled last week that Nabeel Rajab would face criminal charges stemming from a single tweet in which both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense allege that he “denigrated government institutions.” The court had postponed the trial until Sunday, 2 November. If convicted, Rajab could face up to six years in prison.

17 October
Foreign Secretary: Use UK influence on Bahrain to free Nabeel Rajab, Zainab Al-Khawaja and Ghada Jamsheer
Index joined other groups to write to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond regarding the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders Nabeel Rajab, Zainab Al-Khawaja and Ghada Jamsheer in Bahrain for cases of peaceful expression.

9 October
Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab to face trial for expressing opinion
Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab will stand trial on 19 October for allegedly insulting Bahraini government institutions on Twitter.

See earlier articles about Nabeel Rajab

Comments are closed.