Bahrain: NPWJ condemns Nabeel Rajab’s conviction and calls for his immediate release

16 Aug, 2012 | Press Releases

Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini human rights activist and president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was convicted and sentenced today to three years in jail for calling and participating in “illegal gatherings”. Mr Rajab is already serving a three-month sentence he received in July on charges linked to anti-government comments made on social media, including Twitter.

Statement by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) firmly condemn the conviction and detention of Nabeel Rajab and call for his immediate release. Nabeel’s imprisonment for exercising his right to freedom of expression, association and assembly demonstrates the blatant inability of the regime to respond favourably to the recommendations issued by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in November 2011 as well as by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in May 2012.

“Despite the promise generated by Bahrain’s highest authorities’ acceptance of the BICI report, human rights abuses faced by Bahrain’s political opposition and constituents continue unabated, greatly hampering the possibility of any meaningful change for the country’s political future, in both the short- and long-term.

“Thus far, the people of Bahrain have persevered alone in their pursuit of a free and democratic Bahrain. Today, it is even more urgent for the international community to abide by its duty and responsibility to protect those who are threatened for advocating openly for the end of the longstanding culture of impunity that remains intact in the country to this day.

“We urge the international community to demand that Bahrain complies with its responsibilities and implements all necessary measures to ensure that its citizens can actively engage in democratic reform and contribute to anchoring of their country’s future on democracy, rule of law and respect of fundamental human rights. This includes first and foremost to respect and protect the  fundamental rights of its citizens, to release immediately and unconditionally all remaining prisoners of conscience and to establish credible accountability mechanisms for addressing continuing abuses.

“NPWJ and the NRPTT stand in solidarity with Nabeel Rajab who dedicate his life to the promotion of democratic values and the respect of human rights in his country and look forward the international community to carry out all necessary measures to ensure its prompt and inconditional release”.

For further information, please contact Nicola Giovannini at or +32-2-548-39 15.