MoI Responds to OHCHR: Nabeel Rajab Publically Insulted Interior Ministry
2019-01-11 - 8:33 p
Bahrain Mirror: The Interior Ministry issued a statement in response to the call made by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on January 4 regarding the "immediate and unconditional release" of Nabeel Rajab, who is serving a five-year sentence on charges of "releasing false news during wartime and publicly insulting brotherly states and the Ministry of Interior".
The General Directorate of Anti-corruption and Economic & Electronic Crimes stated that convict Nabeel Rajab, through his Twitter account, posted false and malicious tweets harming the civil peace and social harmony. They amount to legal violations which do not fall within the protections for freedom of expression that are guaranteed by Bahrain's Constitution.
"In March 2015, he posted false news and rumors to his followers harming the operations of the Bahraini armed forces and the forces of brotherly countries during a time of war."
"For example, on 26 March, he posted images of bodies claiming they were the consequence of the war in Yemen, while in reality they were images of incidents in Idlib in Syria that were published on 23 September 2014."
He has also re-tweeted tweets and attached with them images of wounded people, claiming that hundreds of inmates in the Jaw prison had suffered fractures and hundreds were bleeding from their heads because of physical attacks and torture.
He insulted the Ministry of Interior and the General Directorate of Reformation and Rehabilitation through his tweets.
The United Nations office for human rights called on "the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and to ensure that all Bahrainis are able to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression without fear of arbitrary detention."
"Monday's court decision brings into focus the continued suppression of Government critics in Bahrain through arbitrary arrest and detention, travel bans, harassment, threats, revocation of citizenship and other means," it added, indicating that "there have been numerous reports of human rights defenders, political activists, journalists and opposition figures being targeted for the exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association."
The UN office confirmed that the arrest, detention and imprisonment of individuals for the exercise of their fundamental human rights is in violation of Bahrain's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which it has ratified. We urge the Government of Bahrain to stop criminalizing dissenting voices.