Index strongly protests the continued judicial harassment of Nabeel Rajab, a respected Bahraini human rights defender, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
Rajab was arrested on 13 June 2016 and later charged with “spreading false news and rumors about the internal situation in a bid to discredit Bahrain.” This charge was in response to statements he gave during past television interviews in early 2015 and 2016.
On Tuesday, 12 July 2016, Rajab’s trial was set to begin but the Court adjourned the hearing and postponed the case until 2 August 2016, ordering the continued detention of the human rights defender.
“The Bahraini authorities are drawing out deliberately the process in a way that extends the punishment of a man who has not been found – and is not – guilty of any crime other than that of desiring to speak freely, and for others to be able to do the same,” said Index’s chief executive Jodie Ginsberg.
Index is extremely concerned about the treatment of Nabeel Rajab, whose health condition has deteriorated while in prison.
In addition, Index calls on Bahrain’s authorities to release Rajab to attend the mourning of his uncle who passed away yesterday, Tuesday, 12 July 2016.
A former Index Freedom of Expression Award-winner and a member of the judging panel at the 2016 Awards, Rajab has been subjected to ongoing judicial harassment to silence his human rights work.