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 16
Nabeel Rajab

Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab (Photo: The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy)

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.

By Ryan McChrystal

Assistant Online Editor at Index on Censorship Ryan McChrystal is Assistant Editor, Online at Index on Censorship, where he provides support for the news and online team in addition to creating content. He has previously held various editorial roles, including as a local reporter, a market reporter and most recently as a features writer at an SME-focused magazine. He graduated in history and politics from Queen’s University, Belfast. Contact: [email protected] | public key