Norway calls for release of human rights defender

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The appeals trial for Nabeel Rajab, Bahraini human rights defender, is scheduled for 14 May 2015. ‘The Norwegian authorities call for the release of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab,’ said State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bård Glad Pedersen.

Mr Rajab, who met the political leadership of Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September 2014, has been imprisoned several times following accusations of having publicly insulted the Bahraini authorities on social media and having participated in and encouraged unauthorised demonstrations. Support for human rights defenders is an important priority for the Ministry. They must be able to carry out their work of promoting and defending human rights without restrictions or threats to themselves or their families. 

‘The sentence against Nabeel Rajab is another example of how difficult the situation is for human rights defenders in Bahrain. A large number of human rights activists have been imprisoned with extremely harsh sentences. Norway calls for Nabeel Rajab to be released as quickly as possible,’ Mr Glad Pedersen said. 

The human rights situation in Bahrain has deteriorated steadily in recent years. Fundamental human rights – such as freedom of speech and freedom of association – are severely restricted, and civil society is under surveillance.