Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab's request for early release from prison denied by Bahraini authorities


The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) have expressed grave concern regarding the Bahraini authorities' treatment of Nabeel Rajab, the imprisoned president of BCHR and the general secretary of GCHR, in addition to their refusal to grant him the early release he is eligible for as per the law.

A request for early release was submitted by Nabeel Rajab's lawyers on 21 January 2014 to the court but it was rejected and no reasons were given to back the decision up.

Before announcing his verdict, the judge reportedly did not a take any action to investigate whether conditions for early release had been met. This is the third attempt submitted by Rajab's lawyers requesting his release, based on article 349 of the Code of Criminal Procedures which sets conditions for early release.

These are as follows:
  • Three quarters of the sentence had already been served;
  • The defendant exhibits good and trustworthy behaviour whilst in detention;
  • The defendant does not pose a threat to public security.
Although all three of those conditions apply to Rajab's case, all requests submitted by his lawyers were rejected without reason.

In the letter submitted to the judge on 21 January, Nabeel Rajab's lawyer provided evidence of his eligibility for early release and complained about the discrimination against Rajab in applying the law of early release, as well as the harm he suffered because of the prolonged delay in responding to his request which was submitted to the Court of Cassation to suspend the sentence.

Click here to read excerpts of the lawyer's letter detailing evidence of discrimination against Rajab.