Norway calls for release of Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain

On 10 July, Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to two years in prison for statements made in media interviews in 2015 and 2016.

‘Norway has repeatedly expressed concern about Mr Rajab’s situation and has urged the Bahraini authorities to fulfil their international human rights obligations. We call again for the immediate release of Mr Rajab and for the charges against him to be dropped,’ said State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tone Skogen.

Mr Rajab was also sentenced in 2015 for public statements he had made, but he was later pardoned before being arrested again in June 2016. Since then he has been held in custody while awaiting trial. However, the trial was postponed a number of times before a verdict was handed down on 10 July. 

‘The sentence against Nabeel Rajab shows how difficult the situation is for human rights defenders in Bahrain. We are particularly concerned about the increasing restrictions on fundamental human rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,’ Ms Skogen said.