Stop the Prosecution of Human Rights Defenders in Bahrain

bahrain flag

Target: United Nations Center for Human Rights

Goal: Urge Bahrain to release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab.

The Bahraini police have once again arrested human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. While the official report states that Rajab was arrested following complaints filed by “the people,” it is believed that former and current government employees filed the complaint to assist the government in silencing critics.

Rajab is the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. As a promoter of human rights in Bahrain, he has organized many peaceful protests against authorities. He is also known for his human rights activities through social networking sites such as Twitter. Rajab is accused of inciting people to join illegal rallies through these social networking sites, as well as defamation of an official authority over Twitter, and “publicly vilifying Muharraq citizens and questioning their patriotism with disgraceful expressions posted via social networking websites.” This last accusation allowed the Bahraini government to pretend that the people of Muharraq are the ones concerned about Rajab’s activities, rather than the government itself.

Ironically, the Bahrain Constitution preserves the right of its citizens to defend human rights. And that, Rajab says, is exactly what he is doing. According to the website of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange network (IFEX), “his arrest is part of an ongoing campaign of judicial harassment against him in order to prevent him from continuing his legitimate and peaceful human rights work.”

Rajab will be detained until at least June 13 while the accusations against him are investigated. He was previously released on bail on May 28, but quickly arrested again. Stop the Bahraini government from preventing Rajab from exercising his right to defend human rights. Sign the petition and help urge the United Nations Centre for Human Rights to investigate the Bahraini government’s efforts to stop human rights defenders from peacefully doing their work.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Commissioner Pillay,

In Bahrain, human rights defender Nabeel Rajab has been detained for a second time this year for allegedly inciting people to join illegal rallies against the government, defamation of an official authority, and vilification. The allegations against him are unfounded, and the latter complaint against him has been falsely reported as having been filed by ‘the people,’ rather than former and current government employees themselves.

It is clear that the Bahrain authorities are trying to prevent Mr. Rajab from doing his work as the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Mr. Rajab simply exercises his right to defend human rights under the Bahraini constitution and his protests against authorities have been peaceful.

Please do not let the Bahraini authorities prosecute Mr. Rajab for exercising his rights.  Urge the Bahraini government to stop their campaign against Mr. Rajab and drop all charges against him.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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57 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
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