NEWS
Bahraini court postpones decision in case against Nabeel Rajab
08 Aug 2017
BY MARY MEISENZAHL
Nabeel Rajab

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

On 7 August, a Bahraini judge postponed a ruling until 11 September in one of the cases against human rights activist and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab.

Rajab is facing trial for tweets and retweets about the war in Yemen in 2015, for which he is charged with “disseminating false rumours in time of war” (Article 133 of the Bahraini Criminal Code) and “insulting a neighboring country”  (Article 215 of the Bahraini Criminal Code), and for tweeting about torture in Jau prison, which resulted in a charge of “insulting a statutory body” (Article 216 of the Bahraini Criminal Code).

This case, one of four Rajab faces, began in April 2015. The trial has been postponed 14 times since and carries a sentence of up to 15 years. During the trial Rajab’s son, Adam Nabeel Rajab, tweeted that the state lacks evidence against him.

Rajab, who was an Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Advocacy award-winner in 2012, has faced continuous persecution for his activism in Bahrain. He is currently also charged with “spreading false news and statements and malicious rumours that undermine the prestige of Bahrain and the brotherly countries of the GCC, and an attempt to endanger their relations” for a piece published in Le Monde, and “undermining the prestige of the state” for a piece he wrote in The New York Times about his detention. On 10 July, Rajab was sentenced to two years in prison for charges related to 2015 television interviews with Bahraini, Iranian and Lebanese networks which support the Bahraini opposition. Rajab was unable to appear in court due to his poor health last month, and was sentenced in his absence.  

Rajab marked one year in detention on 13 June, and for much of this time has been in solitary confinement and unsanitary conditions, which have contributed to his poor health and hospitalisation

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