Bahrain: Protesters celebrate Nabeel Rajab’s birthday and call for his release

Human rights organisations gathered at the Bahrain Embassy in London to support one of the Middle East’s most prominent human rights defenders

01 Sep 2016

Today Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab spent his 52nd birthday in prison. The Index on Censorship award winner is due in court on 5 September on charges of spreading “false or malicious” news about the country’s government via Twitter, “offending” Saudi Arabia and condemning Bahrain’s notorious Jau prison.

He faces 15 years in prison.

To mark Rajab’s birthday and call for his immediate release, a group of human rights organisations – including Index on Censorship, English Pen, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Amnesty International and Redress – held a protest outside the Bahraini Embassy on the Gloucester Road in London.

Rajab became involved in the uprisings in Bahrain of the 1990s to demand democratic reforms. He went on to co-found the Bahrain Human Rights Society and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. He has faced a volley attacks from the authorities as a result of his activism. He has been subjected to ongoing judicial harassment, travel bans, intimidation, physical assaults, imprisonment and solitary confinement.

What can you do to help?

Silenced temporarily by the Bahraini government, Rajab needs you to use your voice. Speak out in support of free speech and human rights.

  • Tweet and Facebook a statement of solidarity using #ReleaseNabeel in the days running up to the trial on 5 September.
  • Call on your nation’s leaders to pressure Bahrain to respect freedom of expression and #FreeNabeel.
  • Retweet the following “criminal” tweet which is being used as evidence against Rajab.

Ryan McChrystal

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