The Bahraini authorities arrested yesterday the human rights activist Mr. Nabil Rajab, President of the Bahraini Center for Human Rights, who was arrested at the airport in Bahrain during his return from Lebanon. Although the Bahraini authorities did not disclose reasons of arrest, they noted that the arrest was based on a judicial order from the Public Prosecution.
The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists expresses its deep concern at the continuing deterioration of human rights conditions in Bahrain and the continued targeting of human rights defenders and the security and judiciary prosecution on the backdrop of their peaceful activities in the defense of rights and freedoms, and the exposure of the systematic and continued violations of Bahraini authorities against citizens since the Pearl Square events in the past February and March.
The Program confirms that the arrest of Rajab is a clear and flagrant violation of the provisions of Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly the right to free movement as well as the provisions of Article 9 of the same Covenant which prohibits arbitrary detention. In the meantime, the detention without informing the charge against him is contrary to the provisions of Article 14 of the same Covenant which forces the authorities to inform the arrested or detained on the charges against him and to enable him to contact his family and his lawyer. The Program sees as if the Bahraini authorities seek to convey a letter to human rights activists that the retrial of Al Khawaja is not a new approach in the treatment of human rights activists within the Kingdom, however, it is just fake response to go with outside pressure. The Bahraini authorities continue to adopt the same repressive policy through the arrest of Nabil Rajab to intimidate activists and to silent their voices, in violation to terms and provisions of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights Defenders.
The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists claims the Bahraini authorities to immediately release the human rights activist Nabil Rajab, without limitation or conditions. Meanwhile, the Program shoulders the Bahraini authorities the full responsibility for his physical and mental health.
Beside, the Program calls on all human rights activists and institutions to stand in solidarity with our colleague Nabil Rajab and address the Bahraini authorities to release him and to hold those responsible for such behavior into accountability.
Furthermore, the Program emphasizes the necessity to pressure on the Bahraini authorities to accept the Arab observers to attend the trial proceedings and sessions of human rights activist Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja.
Together to rescue Bahraini activists and to activate terms and provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.