Nabeel Rajab is a human right defender and political opponent from Bahrain.
He is the President of the Bahrain Centre for human rights, a member of the Middle East section of Human Rights Watch and Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human rights (FIDH).
Nabeel Rajab works mainly against human rights violations in Bahrain, particularly against torture and deaths in detention.
He is a staunch defender of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and often gives his opinion through online social networks which makes him the target of many reprisals.
Indeed, Nabeel Rajab has been under an intensive harassment since 2011. After some tweets about the demonstrations in Bahrain, the home of Nabeel Rajab was attacked with tear gas as well as the home of his relatives. He was also kidnapped, threatened, insulted and beaten by armed and masked policemen, then he was victim of a smear campaign against him.
Moreover, since 2012 Nabeel Rajab has been the subject of eight criminal prosecutions and has spent 28 of the last 36 months into prison for repeated periods of a few days to almost two years.
The charges against him are, among others, the fact of having participated in unauthorized demonstrations and the fact of having wrote tweets denouncing human rights violations carried out by the regime including cases of torture.
In July 2015, Nabeel Rajab was released after making three of the six months imprisonment pronounced during his last trial.
However, he faces up to 15 years in prisons on motives related to tweets like dissemination and misinformation in times of war, dissemination of false information endangering public security and insulting the authorities.
His release occurs in a context of systematic reprisals against human rights defenders.
Such harassment acts with such repetitions demonstrate the complicated atmosphere in which human rights defenders act in Bahrain.
Nabeel was detained in June 2016 and placed in isolation. His health has been deteriorating since then.
Documents and statements
Several communications have been sent to the Bahraini government whose last date of 2014. In this communication, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, with the support of others Special Rapporteurs, recalls the situation of Nabeel Rajab and the numerous arrest and threats he suffered (communication only available in English).
In a statement, the Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, with two others Special Rapporteurs, welcomes the release of Nabeel Rajab but urges that the charges against him to be dropped ( statement only available in English).