Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab acquitted in appeal in the tweet case, but still detained for three other cases
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||23 August 2012|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab acquitted in appeal in the tweet case, but still detained for three other cases, 23 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/503def743.html [accessed 12 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Last Update 23 August 2012
The Higher Appeal Court acquitted FIDH Deputy Secretary General Nabeel Rajab this morning in the so-called "tweet case". On July 9, Nabeel Rajab had been sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for alleged libel after he tweeted a message criticising the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain on 2 June 2012.
For FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen, "Nabeel Rajab's acquittment in that case is a relief but must not conceal that he was sentenced last week to 3 years imprisonment. At the moment, Nabeel remains in jail and Bahraini authorities continue to smother all criticism. The authorities must go further and release all human rights defenders arrested and detained for their human rights activities."
Souhayr Belhassen, who was planning to attend today's verdict against Nabeel Rajab, has not been able to obtain an entry visa for Bahrain. "All 164 FIDH member organisations are now mobilised to push for Nabeel's release" she said. She added that "the judicial harassment that Nabeel Rajab has been suffering is simply vile and unconscionable. The international community should now pressure to ensure the protection of Nabeel's psychological and physical integrity and make every possible effort to obtain his immediate and unconditional release. And it is all the more urgent that Nabeel Rajab, who has been in jail since July 9, stated in court this morning that he has been subjected to psychological and physical torture."
Last week, on 16 August 2012, FIDH Deputy Secretary General Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to three years' imprisonment by the Lower Criminal Court in Manama, for his involvement in inciting gatherings and calling for unauthorised marches. The appeal should start in September. Judiciary authorities will then have the opportunity to repeal this sentence once and for all in line with Bahrain's international human rights obligations.