Today, 16 August 2012, FIDH Deputy Secretary General, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced by the Bahraini Lower Criminal Court to three years imprisonment for “involvement in illegal practices and inciting gatherings and calling for unauthorised marches through social networking sites”, for his “participation in an illegal assembly” and for his “participation in an illegal gathering and calling for a march without prior notification”. FIDH strongly condemns this sentence and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President declared “it’s been over a year that the Bahraini people have been peacefully asking for human rights and democracy. How does the government remain so deaf to these calls? Arbitrarily imprisoning human rights defenders will not stop the people from aspiring to freedom and democratic change. We hope that the international community will firmly condemn this decision and will call for Nabeel’s release.”
On the same day, the Higher Appeal Court also decided to postpone the verdict in the appeal against the decision of the Lower Criminal Court which had earlier sentenced Nabeel to 3 months imprisonment for alleged libel after he tweeted on 2 June 2012 a message asking for the Khalifa to step down. The verdict is now expected for 23 August.
Press contact: Arthur Manet Tel: +33 6 72 28 42 94 (in Paris)