Rights defenders jailed in Bahrain and UAE should be released unconditionally, UN urges

UN News/Vibhu Mishra Manama, the capital of Bahrain. (file)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has called for the immediate release of a prominent human rights defender in Bahrain, after the country’s highest court rejected a final appeal for his release on Monday. Nabeel Rajab was jailed in 2016 for tweeting criticism of Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes on Yemen and allegations of torture inside one of Bahrain’s prisons.

“We urge the Government of Bahrain to stop criminalizing dissenting voices,” the statement read. Mr. Rajab’s comments online were made in 2015, when Saudi Arabia formed a coalition siding with the pro-Government fight in Yemen against Houthi rebels.

One tweet read, “we have the right to say no to the war in #Yemen and should struggle for peace and security but not bloodshed #Sanaa.” He also criticized conditions inside Bahrain’s Jau Prison, which are notoriously poor.

Rajab was convicted on charges of “spreading false news and rumors in time of war”, “insulting foreign countries” and “insulting publicly the interior ministry”.

OHCHR Spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, briefing reporters at the UN in Geneva, urged the Government of Bahrain “to ensure that all Bahrainis are able to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression without fear of arbitrary detention.” The UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention last year declared Rajab’s detention to be arbitrary.

Monday’s court decision brings into focus the tight lid on Government critics in Bahrain, the Spokesperson said, evidenced by targeted arrests, detention, travel bans, harassment, threats, revocation of citizenship and other means.

Several cases of civil society activists and their families suffering retaliation in Bahrain for seeking to engage with UN human rights officials are highlighted in the Secretary-General’s latest annual report on reprisals, and in some cases, activists have been accused of terrorism-related offences.

Prosecution for exercising fundamental human rights violates Bahrain’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which includes freedom of expression under the human rights umbrella, said OHCHR.

United Arab Emirates also urged to release defender jailed for tweeting

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), rights advocate Ahmed Mansoor faces a 10-year sentence on similar charges – social media posts deemed insulting to the Government.

The Court of State Security, the highest in the country, upheld the rights defender’s sentence on 31 December, and issued a one-million dirham fine; roughly $272,000.

In May 2018, Mr. Mansoor was jailed along with four others, following the comments, accused of using social media to “publish false information” that harms “national unity” and damages “the country’s reputation.”

Ms. Shamdasani said the conviction was another case of “harsh sentencing” for Mr. Mansoor, related to “his exercise of the right to freedom of expression and opinion.”

“We urge the Government of the UAE to promptly and unconditionally release Mansoor and to ensure that individuals are not penalized for expressing views critical of the Government or its allies,” she said in a briefing statement to reporters.

The number of reprisals against those who cooperate with the United Nations and work to uphold human rights highlighted in the UN Chief’s annual report, exposes a “shameful” level of retaliation suffered in 38 countries, some of which are members of the Human Rights Council.

Acts of retaliation, including allegations of killing, torture, and public stigmatization campaigns, the report shows, inhibit the work of the UN and its partner organizations.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Adjust UN force in Abyei to current realities, peacekeeping chief urges Security Council

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

‘Score a goal’ for humanity, says Mohammed, celebrating winning link between sport and development

PM May fosters chauvinism, declares trade war on Europe

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

Independent UN rights expert calls for compassion, not sanctions on Venezuela

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

‘Everyone must be on board’ for peace in Central African Republic: UN’s Lacroix

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

In Marrakech, UN chief urges world leaders to ‘breathe life’ into historic global migration pact

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

5 leadership lessons I learned from doing my own ‘undercover boss’

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

On Youth Education: “Just a normal day in the life of a medical student”

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

The deforestation risks lurking in the banking sector

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

EU Visa Policy: Commission welcomes agreement to strengthen EU visa rules

The race for Driverless vehicles: where is the industry heading?

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

UN affirms ‘historic’ global compact to support world’s refugees

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

Towards a seamless internal EU market for industrial goods

Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants’ pact and how will it help?

Medical Doctors in Industry 4.0: pure science fiction

3 lessons from India in creating equal access to vaccines

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

The DNA of the future retail CEO

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

Spending on health increase faster than rest of global economy, UN health agency says

Greece: The new government of Alexis Tsipras shows its colors

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

The European Parliament hemicycle in Strasbourg (Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro)

EU Parliament sends controversial copyright law reform back to discussion

Commission and ECB prepare new financial mega-tool in support of SMEs

Mali facing ‘alarming’ rise in rights violations, warns UN expert

Britain heading to national schism on exit from EU

A Sting Exclusive: “Sustainable development goals: what role for business?” Commissioner Mimica asks live from European Business Summit 2015

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: UNESCO ready to help after Notre Dame fire, and updates on Libya, Nicaragua, and the Cyclone Idai response

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

Better housing means better health and well-being, stress new WHO guidelines

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

More hiring freedom can reduce teacher shortages in disadvantaged areas

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s