STATEMENT
Bahraini injustice: Nabeel Rajab conviction for tweeting upheld
31 Dec 2018
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP
Nabeel Rajab, BCHR - winner of Bindmans Award for Advocacy at the Index Freedom of Expression Awards 2012 with then-Chair of the Index on Censorship board of trustees Jonathan Dimbleby
Nabeel Rajab, BCHR - winner of Bindmans Award for Advocacy at the Index Freedom of Expression Awards 2012 with then-Chair of the Index on Censorship board of trustees Jonathan Dimbleby.

Bahrain’s Court of Cassation has upheld human rights activist Nabeel Rajab’s five-year conviction for critical tweets made from his account condemning Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen and the use of torture at Bahrain’s notorious Jau Prison.

Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and a 2012 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award winner, has been sentenced in all to seven years in prison across two separate trials. In February 2018 he was given five years for the tweets in addition to a two-year conviction in June 2017 for “broadcasting fake news” relating to television interviews he gave in 2015, a conviction that remains upheld.

“Nabeel Rajab has suffered relentless harassment and intimidation for expressing opinions,” Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, said. “Index reiterates: opinions are not crimes. Bahrain must immediately release Nabeel and we call on Bahrain’s allies — including the UK — to advocate for this in the strongest possible terms.”

Rajab, known for his peaceful involvement in the Bahrain uprising of 2011, had unsuccessfully appealed the tweet convictions on four previous occasions and this was his fifth and final appeal. He has been in prison on a continual basis since June 2016, during which time his health has deteriorated significantly.

Open letter to Bahraini authorities: Drop all charges and release Nabeel Rajab

NGOs are concerned that, with Nabeel Rajab’s appeal hearing scheduled on 31 December, authorities may be planning to increase his sentence under cover of the world’s celebrations of the new year.

Happy birthday Nabeel!

Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab is spending his third birthday in prison. Send him a birthday message on Twitter or Facebook

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This week Index remembered murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya and spoke out in support of human rights in Bahrain and Turkey.

UN declares Nabeel Rajab’s imprisonment unlawful, warns arbitrary detention in Bahrain may amount to “crimes against humanity”

It finds that Rajab should never have been prosecuted and that Bahraini authorities employed “vague and overly broad” legal provisions to target him for his “political views and convictions”

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