Human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, President and co-founder of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was released from Jau Prison June 9, days before the 4 year anniversary of his arrest.
He was arrested in 2016 on various charges, among them an added five-year sentence given in 2018 for tweets on the abuse of prisoners and criticism of Bahrain’s involvement in Saudia Arabia’s war on Yemen. The UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions has found his imprisonment to not only be arbitrary, but also discriminatory,leading over 50 organizations to call for his immediate and unconditional release.
Rajab was released after a court agreed to pass an alternative sentence to the jail term he was currently serving, where he will continue his sentence from home. However, from what we understand, this puts him under severe restrictions, and he is not allowed to continue his human rights work. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, co-founder of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, remains in prison.
"To know the human rights situation in a country, ask where the human rights activists/defenders are. In #bahrain they are behind bars."
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was founded in 2002 and has worked for democracy and human rights in a region where varying degrees of autocracy and systematic discrimination has been the norm rather than the exception.