Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for participation in illegal demonstrations
On 16th August 2012, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the director of the Gulf Center for Human rights, Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.
15 July 2005 Nabeel Rajab and others activists were beaten by Special Forces while attending a pacific demonstration in solidarity with the Committee for the Unemployed, making necessary his hospitalization during 2 weeks.
Since then he suffers ongoing harassment, smear campaign in the media…
20 March 2011 20 to 25 masked men burst into Rajab’s house. He’s thrown into a van where he was beaten, threatened, insulted and taken to a government detention place. After a brief interrogation, he is released.
Later un 2011, in April and May, tear grenades are launched to his house, with his family inside.
5 May 2012 He is arrested at Manama Airport on his return from Lebanon, the day before a scheduled court hearing. Before the trial he said he was not attending the trial because the Judiciary of Bahrain is a “tool used against human rights defenders and people calling for democracy and justice”.
On 6 may, Nabeel is charged with “insulting a statutory body via Twitter” and kept in detention. He is added the charge of “organizing illegal protests” and “participation in illegal gathering”
He is released on bail the 28 may, after 24 days of detention.
6 June 2012 He is rearrested officially for "publicly insulting residents of a Sunni-dominated neighborhood for their ties to the ruling dynasty" via Twitter. But he is arrested the day after an interview on Al-Jazeera where he criticizes the lack of reforms and the ongoing violation of Human Rights.
He is released on bail the 27 June and had to pay 300 BHD (600 €).
9 July 2012 He is arrested at his house and sentenced in the same day by the 5th Criminal Court of Manama to 3 months of imprisonment, for the 6th June charges concerning the Tweets against the Prime Minister.
He suffers ill treatments and torture in prison.
16 August 2012 He is sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, 1 year for each charge : involvement in illegal practices and inciting gatherings and calling for unauthorized marches through social networking sites", "participation in an illegal assembly", and "participation in an illegal gathering and calling for a march without prior notification."
He is placed in solitary confinement in the prison of Jaw, and could only call his family the 20 of August for 2 minutes.
His wife visits him the 4 of September and confirms that he suffers ill and humiliating treatments. He is naked with only a little piece of fabric to cover his private areas, he is subjected to humiliating inspections, he could not tell day from night and he assures they put a dead cat in his cell. (more details : http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/235 )
27 September 2012 The Court of Appeal refuse to liberate the defender of Human Rights, despite the fact that false videos shows Nabeel Rajab, during the January 2012 demonstrations, calling to violence. The hearing is postponed to the 16th of October.
5 October 2012 Nabeel Rajab starts a hunger strike, following the decision of the Bahraini authorities refusing him to attend the funeral of his mother.
16 october 2012 His hearing has been postponed again, to the 8th of November, but the judge refused to realease him on bail and doesn’t allow defense witnesses to attend the trial, according to his lawyer.
8 November 2012 The Court of Appeal dropped the two “twitter charges”, but Nabeel Rajab is still facing the three charges related to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Bahraini constitution. But the Court refused again a provisional release of Nabeel Rajab. An international defense witnesses has been denied access to the hearing and the defense team couldn’t had all the evidence filed in the criminal case in due time. Hearing has been postponed to the 11 December 2012 and the verdict is expected on that day.
11 December 2012 Nabeel is condemned to 3 years imprisonment