H.E. Ambassador Houda Ezra Nonoo
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
3502 International Drive
Washington, DC 20008
Dear Ambassador Nonoo,
I write to you out of deep concern for human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who has been repeatedly targeted and arrested by the Bahraini authorities for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly. He is a prisoner of conscience, and must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Nabeel Rajab is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for calling for and taking part in multiple demonstrations in the first three months of 2012. Most recently, at least one defense witness for Nabeel’s appeal trial was denied entry to Bahrain, and evidence has gone missing from his case file, raising serious concerns that this trial fails to meet standards for fairness. Nabeel has also testified that he was previously subject to ill-treatment while in detention.
I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Nabeel Rajab, and to ensure that his convictions and sentences are quashed, and that any remaining charges against him are dropped. Until his release, please ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, order an investigation into his reported ill-treatment, and bring anyone found responsible to justice.
Finally, I urge you to uphold the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly in Bahrain, and ensure that all human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without political interference and hindrance.
Amnesty International at the University of Florida (UFAI)