Bahraini Court Reaffirms Rajab Conviction, Reduces Sentence
Washington, D.C. – Today a Bahraini court confirmed the conviction of Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), and reduced his prison sentence from three years to two. Rajab is in prison for illegal gatherings. “Nabeel is recognized as one of the most respected human rights defenders in the world. Locking him up for two years only deepens Bahrain’s human rights crisis and makes a solution more remote,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “ Senior figures in the Bahrain government speak about the need for judicial reform and ending selective enforcement of the law, but today’s verdict, yesterday’s jailing of human rights activist Zainab Al Khawaja and the continued detention of other civil society leaders show what’s really happening.” Last week, Human Rights First awarded the 2012 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty to the BCHR, a non-governmental advocacy organization that promotes democracy and human rights in Bahrain. The BCHR was prominent in documenting and publicizing human rights violations during the government crackdown over the last year, often at great risk to its members and supporters.