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Nabeel Rajab: I Did Not Ask For the King’s Pardon...I talked with officials in the Ministry of Interior

2015-07-22 - 1:28 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): In response to a wave of questions he was asked during the past days regarding his release, the prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab confirmed that he did not ask King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for a pardon.

Rajab denied that his release came "as a result of a deal with the government or a waiver of people's rights," stressing "I don't have the right, dare nor intention to waive legitimate rights and nor does any human rights activist and politician"
"I requested permission from the security authorities to undergo a surgery, which I wanted to have done before, due to gallstones and inflammation that require surgery. Thus, these security authorities decided to release me to have my surgery done while outside prison," Rajab stated.

As for whether his release was achieved through international pressure, Rajab said: "Frankly, [the security authorities] told me about their intention to release me more than a month before the issuing of the European Parliament's decision [that demanded his release]. There are also dozens of parties, institutions and countries that demanded my release before the issuing of the European Parliament decision. Accordingly, it is not fair to reduce the foreign calls [for his release] to the latest European decision only."

"I did not ask for a pardon for I had not committed any crime. I only exercised one of my innate rights," stressed Rajab. "It is true that I have met with some security officials several times and we talked about the human rights situation in details and decided to continue our talks after I got released. I will continue these talks in my personal and institutional capacities within the coming days, weeks and months, God willing, and to reduce the gap between us, as parties and human rights institutions, and the authorities," he added.

"We, as local and international human rights institutions, have always sought to have a communication channel with government institutions responsible for the human rights situation. However, all our previous attempts have failed since the authorities refused to communicate with us on the basis that we are human rights institutions, and instead have always categorized us as opposition forces," Rajab explained.

"I did not address the political situation for it is neither of my business nor that of the human rights institutions that I work in, even if I have my own views as an ordinary Bahraini citizen. Also, the authorities did not ask me to talk about this matter. I don't expect any solution for the political crisis without a real dialogue between opposition leaders, who most of which are behind bars, and the ruling authority. I don't even think that there will be a successful solution without a consensus between the authorities and opposition in the country. However, as for us, we will stick to our human rights work," Rajab further stated.

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