Bahrain: human rights defender Nabeel Rajab arrested

NGos demand immediate release of BHRC president

13 June, 20:09

    (ANSAmed) - ROMA, 13 GIU - Bahrain security forces arrested leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab early this morning, Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said. Rajab is the president of BCHR, founding director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and Deputy Secretary General of FIDH.

    A group of NGOs condemn the arrest of Nabeel Rajab and stress that all human rights defenders must have the freedom to operate in their country.

    Bahrain police, led by the Cybercrime Unit, surrounded Rajab's home in Bani Jamra, in the north west of Bahrain.

    The authorities' reason of arrest is not yet known, and it is unknown if new charges have been brought against him. In 2015, police brought two charges against Rajab, together carrying up to thirteen years prison term, both in relation to statements he made on twitter. Rajab was not prosecuted on these charges, nor were they dropped. It is possible that he has been arrested on these old charges.

    The arrest comes on the first day of the UNHRC's 32nd Session. According to BHRC, in his opening comments Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, criticised recent rights violations in Bahrain and warned: "Repression will not eliminate people's grievances; it will increase them." Last week, under extensive pressure from the government, human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja, left Bahrain to begin her effective exile in Denmark. (ANSAmed).

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