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European MPs Call for Nabeel Rajab’s Release on Arrest Anniversary

2017-06-15 - 3:42 am

Bahrain Mirror: On the anniversary of Nabeel Rajab's arrest, 37 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different political groups sent an open letter to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, urging her to call for his immediate release.

The European MPs called in their letters on the Gulf government to halt the harassment of those who peacefully exercise their freedom of speech or assembly, and immediately release all prisoners of conscience.

"We, Members of the European Parliament, share Nabeel Rajab's belief that "respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms is the way to attain peace, stability and prosperity in any nation". Nabeel Rajab is not a criminal. His ongoing arbitrary detention and the repeated adjournments of his trial sessions are unacceptable," the letter read.

"The international community must not stand silently as the Bahraini authorities intensify their crackdown on civil society", they stated, adding, "We therefore request that you and the European Union Member States urge the Government of Bahrain both publicly and privately to: Immediately and unconditionally release Nabeel Rajab and all political prisoners; Ensure he is granted immediate and regular access to his lawyer, his family, and any medical treatment he may require; Halt the harassment of those who peacefully exercise their freedom of speech or assembly."

"Nabeel Rajab is just one case among many others in Bahrain and the broader Gulf region. The governments of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman all maintain excessive restrictions regarding exercising the rights to free expression and association. We urge you to call for the release of imprisoned human rights activists by each of the governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council," their letter iterated.

Among the signatories of the letter were MEPs Julie Ward, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Barbara Lochbihler, Claude Moraes, Alessia Maria Mosca, Selios Kouloglou, in addition to others.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights welcomed this initiative led by MEP Julie Ward and reiterated the letter's appeal to Mogherini, hoping for stronger EU action on this issue.

Arabic Version



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