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    March 22, 2013

    The Bahraini authorities must respect freedom of expression and assembly during a week of demonstrations planned to protest against the imprisonment of human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab, said Amnesty International.

    The human rights defender was imprisoned in August 2012 for three years for calling for and participating in ‘illegal gatherings’. His sentence was reduced to two years in December - Amnesty International has adopted him as a prisoner of conscience.

    Organizers of the ‘don’t forget Nabeel Rajab’ campaign sought official permission to demonstrate on 23 March but had their application flatly rejected by the authorities. Despite fears of excessive use of force by the security forces to disperse the protest, organizers still plan to go ahead.

    “The government of Bahrain has demonstrated time and again its disregard for basic human rights. Not only is Nabeel Rajab unfairly imprisoned, the authorities are now trying to silence his supporters and family,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    February 14, 2013

    Prisoners of conscience remain behind bars and activists continue to be jailed just for expressing their views whether via social media or on peaceful marches, two years on from 2011 protests, said Amnesty International in a briefing published today.

    Victims of state repression say justice remains elusive and restrictions are still in place despite recent institutional reforms.

    “The government of Bahrain cannot carry on imprisoning people simply because it can’t take criticism. It’s time that people detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression be released and for the harassment of other activists to desist,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program Deputy Director.

    “Bahrain risks creating nothing more than a bureaucracy of human rights if changes are not matched by a genuine political will to reform - Bahrainis need to see their rights respected in everyday life.”


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