More information: Bahrain: Vicious Attack on Human Rights defender Nabeel Rajab
Photo showing bruises on face of Nabeel, via Adam Rajab
Update- 8 Jan 2012 19:00
Nabeel Rajab interview with EA: - "I said it was up to him and that he should not use violence, but if he does, the marchers wouldn't react because violence wasn't the solution."
The officer gave them five minutes to disperse. In fact, the attack began 90 seconds later.
Riot police started beating people with batons. Tear gas canisters started flying all over the place, spewing what many protesters have started to call "toxic gas", because the new gas being used by security forces has effects far stronger than that employed earlier in the protest. Rajab saw some canisters; none had any company names or other labels. Read it in full here
US State Department Statement: - The United States is deeply concerned by continuing incidents of violence in Bahrain between police and demonstrators. Officials from the United States Embassy in Manama met today with human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who was injured during a demonstration on Friday; they also spoke with senior Bahraini government officials regarding the incident. Read it in full here
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), calls on the authorities to guarantee the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the safety of demonstrators, including that of human rights defenders, following the repression by security forces yesterday of a peaceful demonstration to call for the release of political prisoners. Read the statment in full here
HRF statement:- "The attack against Nabeel is further proof that the Bahraini government continues to violently crack down on peaceful protesters and human rights defenders despite promise after promise of reform." Read it in full here
Update- 7 Jan 2012 19:00
Speaking to Al Jazeera from his home soon after leaving the Sulaimaniya hospital, Rajab said that he was attacked after riot police charged the crowd he and other protesters hid in nearby homes. They waited for things to calm down before leaving to return to their own homes.
"Maybe 25, 30 minutes later, I went out toward my car and they found me and attacked me," said Rajab.
Multiple posts on the microblogging site featured a video of Nabeel Rajab speaking to riot police on Friday night, shortly before he was beaten and taken away.
"Five, six, seven people, I don't know how many people. They were attacking from everywhere. When a police officer came, I heard them say, 'We found Nabeel lying down,' and I said, 'No, I'm not lying down - you're beating me,'" Rajab said.
When they started beating him, Rajab said he identified himself and said he was a rights activist.
"They said, 'Are you Nabeel Rajab?' I said 'Yes', then they beat me more," pointing out that the men who beat him were Jordanians, Syrians and Pakistanis, dressed as riot police and special forces.
"But the officer was Bahraini. When he saw them beating me, they stopped, because he knew it was too much and they called an ambulance."
At the hospital, Rajab said he was questioned about who had assaulted him, but he brushed off the attempt to find the culprits.
"I told them, 'You will not find the people who beat me. If you will find those people who killed 65 people so far, then you will find the people who beat me,'" said Rajab, referring to those who have been killed since the start of the unrest in February.
With an injured face, head and back, bleeding from the mouth, Rajab said that while he was at the hospital, his house was teargassed.
Update- 7 Jan 2012 00:20AM:
Human rights defender Nabeel Rajab has left the hospital going back home after gettting the required treatment during which he was interrogated by the secuirty forces
06 Jan 2012 The Gulf Centre for Human Rights, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies hold the authorities in Bahrain full responsibility for the life and safety of human Rights defender Nabeel Rajab.
Around 9 pm, the President of Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) Nabeel Rajab was beaten severely by the security forces in Bahrain then moved in an ambulance to Salmaniya hospital after participating in a peaceful protest in Manama earlier tonight (video of the attack on the protest). He has told his lawyer on a phone call following the attack that the policemen gathered around him suddenly and started to beat him. He informed the lawyer that while lying on the ground he was beaten all over his body and specially on his back and face and that his face injuries are serious. He has an injury just below his right eye. He was then taken to Salmanyia hospital which is still controlled by a heavy security presence since last March. Human rights activists from Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and his lawyer Mohammed Al-Jishi who have headed immediately to the hospital were prevented from seeing him. His Son Adam Rajab saw his dad in the hospital, carried by police, he said Nabeel’s face was swollen. When Adam tried to take a picture of his dad he got pushed and his phone was taken from him. Dr Alaa AlShehabi reported from the hospital that Nabeel is surrounded by 8-10 security officers and that he is suffering from concussion, back pain and bruises to his back and face. He told Dr Alaa that he was attacked by a group of police officers with sticks, he was kicked, punched & beaten all over his body and especially on the face. BCHR member Said Yousif AlMahafdha was able to see Nabeel for a moment by was then asked by Minister of interior officers to leave immediately.
BCHR knew that Nabeel is being interrogated right now, though he can’t talk and is currently on a wheel chair. His family was not allowed to stay with him.
Following the same attack, Sayed Yousif AlMahafdha, active member of the BCHR, was also injured with a stun grenade in his leg and arm. In addition, supporters gathered in solidarity outside Nabeel’s house in Bani-Jamra were attacked with tear gas.
This is an urgent appeal, the fact that the ministry of interior is controlling access to Nabeel with heavy security presence around him and preventing taking photos is very worrying and we are concerned about his health and life. Rajab is believed to be under arrest, until authorities with the Ministry of Interior allow visitation or reveal Mr. Rajab’s status.
There is an imminent fear of torture, in case Rajab was transferred to a detention facility, particularly that there is a trend of targeting human right defenders in Bahrain, who are frequently subjected to torture and other ill treatment while in detention.
GCHR, BCHR and CIHRS believe that the security forces attack on human rights defender Nabeel Rajab is directly related to his legitimate work in defense of human rights and democracy in Bahrain.
We are deeply concerned that this latest attack comes as part of an increasingly hostile environment that human rights defenders in Bahrain are facing which has included the repression of peaceful demonstrations in the villages of Bahrain, the arbitrary arrest of nonviolent protesters on daily basis, and the attacks and intimidation of human rights defenders who are defending the people’s rights in Bahrain.
We condemn in the strongest possible term this vicious attack on a well known human rights figure inside Bahrain and on the regional and international levels. GCHR, BCHR and CIHRS, are gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Nabeel Rajab and hold the government of Bahrain responsible for his safety.
Report on previous attacks on Nabeel Rajab by the security forces in Bahrain , May 2011