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Rafto Foundation Appeals Norwegian Government to Interfere to Immediately and Unconditionally release Nabeel Rajab

2016-07-22 - 8:42 p

Bahrain Mirror-Exclusive: The Rafto Foundation appealed to the Norwegian government and all relevant international bodies to "call for the Government of Bahrain to immediately release Nabeel, and vacate his earlier sentences and apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to halt any further judicial harassment of Nabeel Rajab and other human rights defenders in Bahrain."

Rafto called on the Norwegian government and all relevant international bodies to "urge the Bahraini government to repeal any and all laws that infringe upon internationally protected rights and insist that the Government of Bahrain ensure that civil society organizations and human rights defenders in Bahrain may conduct their work without fear of retaliation or reprisal."

On June 13, 2016, the Bahraini government arrested Nabeel Rajab who won the Rafto Laureate 2013, in his home in Bahrain. His wife was given no justification for the arrest.

James Lynch, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, made the following comment immediately after the news of Director Rajab's recent arrest became known: "The arrest of Nabeel Rajab appears to be another alarming example of Bahrain's zero-tolerance stance towards peaceful dissent and activism, which it enforces through arbitrary measures including revolving-doors detention. [...] It has become painfully clear in recent weeks that the authorities in Bahrain have little interest in what the world makes of their deteriorating human rights record and think nothing of preventing Bahraini activists from speaking out on the international stage."

In January 2015, an appeal for the release of Director Rajab was signed by 63 human rights organizations. Besides, 33 states - among them France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, USA, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway - signed the 5th UN Joint Statement on Human Rights in Bahrain, presented at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council by Switzerland, on September 14, 2015. The statement criticizes the Bahraini government for failing to respect the rights of peaceful human rights defenders.

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