Update: Human Rights defender Nabeel Rajab subjected to ill-treatment in prison and placed in a solitary confinement
Archive photo from Feb 2012
Update- 23 August 2012
Nabeel was brought to the court today for his appeal in the twitter case. According to information from his wife, Nabeel stood at the court and shouted that he's being tortured physically and psychologically as a revenge. He said the prison administration ordered placing him in solitary, which is a dark room and doesn't exceed an area of 5 x 7 feet. He said the solitary cell is like pigeons cage, and he slept on an iron bed with a plastic sheet on it and he felt feathers around him. Because of this frightening cell he suffered a suffocation and started breathing with strange sounds, which made them take him out of it due to fear for his life. The police tried to silence Nabeel then they placed the handcuffs in his hands and tried t take him out of the court but he kept talking. A representative from the US embassy was present.
The judge overturned the conviction against Nabeel Rajab regarding comments on twitter, but the activist remained jailed while appealing another prison sentence.
21 August 2012
Further to our joint appeal on 16 August 2012 (Kindly see the following link: Bahrain, emboldened by international silence, sentences Nabeel Rajab to 3 years imprisonment), the GCHR and BCHR express their concerns over the recent confirmed information that leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab has been placed in solitary confinement and banned from making unmonitored telephone calls to his family following the 3 years imprisonment sentence against him on Thursday 16 August 2012.
On 20 August 2012 evening the human rights defender called his family for the first time since the day in which the sentence was imposed. He was cautiously informing his family for being threatened that the call will be cut if involved news about Bahrain. He also confirmed to his wife that the authorities have put him in a solitary confinement and have not had access to any newspapers during the past days. The call, which lasted less than two minutes, was cut suddenly.
The GCHR and BCHR condemn the ill-treatment of leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and are very concerned about placing him in a solitary confinement. The GCHR and BCHR believe strongly that the authorities have violated the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners that states in article 30.1 “No prisoner shall be punished except in accordance with the terms of such law or regulation.” And in article 32.1 “Punishment by close confinement shall never be inflicted unless the medical officer has examined the prisoner and certified in writing that he is fit to sustain it.”
In addition, GCHR and BCHR have also received information that the prison administration is monitoring the calls of the detained human rights defenders and leading activists. Its reported that an officer had interrupted a call between a detained leading activist, Ebrahim Sharif and his wife Mrs Fareeda Ghulum, then the call was cut while she was describing the situation in Bahrain after the alleged kiling of 16 years old child Hussam AlHaddad by the security forces, on 18 August 2012.
GCHR and BCHR see these developments as serious causes of concerns as the human rights defenders and activists are being deprived from the right to talk freely with their families. This increases the possibility of subjecting them to a further ill-treatment while not being able to communicate details to the outside world.
The GCHR and BCHR express concerns on the physical and psychological integrity and security of all detained human rights defenders and activists, in particular human rights defender Nabeel Rajab who probably will be placed aganin in a solitary confinement in the absence of direct and free communications with him.
We call on the international community to put real pressure on the government of Bahrain to release leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab who we believe has been targeted solely for his legitimate human rights activities.