NGOs Call for Nabeel Rajab’s Release on Arrest Anniversary
2017-06-15 - 9:03 p
Bahrain Mirror: 14 International NGOs wrote an appeal to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Member States as well as to UN Member and Observer states, urging them to call on Bahraini authorities to free human rights defender Nabeel Rajab on his arrest anniversary.
The NGOs said in their letter that they "express our deep concern over the continued detention of prominent Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, on the first anniversary of his arrest. We urge you to call for his immediate release and for all charges against him to be dropped."
Rajab has now already spent 12 months in pre-trial detention, due to repeated adjournments of his trial contrary to international standards. He has been arrested since June 2016, the same time when al-Wefaq and Tawiya societies were dissolved, and the citizenship of Sheikh Isa Qassim was revoked.
Lawyers said that they withdrew from defending Rajab, protesting the court's rejection to adjourn the session due to the activist's deteriorated health condition.
Among the organizations who are signatories to the letter were European Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Article 19, Amnesty International, IFEX, Index on Censorship, Pen International and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
"Urgent international pressure for Nabeel Rajab's release is needed. We urge the European Union and its Member States to call on Bahrain to end the unlawful detainment of Nabeel Rajab and to release him immediately and unconditionally. As Adam Rajab, Nabeel Rajab's son notes: "without international pressure we will not see him walk out of prison anytime soon," the letter further stated.
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