How Gulf and Arab World Received News of Nabeel Rajab's Release

2020-06-10 - 11:44 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The release of president of the dissolved Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, created a joyous atmosphere among Gulf and Arab human rights activists. Although the release is conditional, as Rajab will have to serve one or more of the seven penalties discussed by Law No. 18 of 2017 on sanctions and alternative measures in Bahrain, for the remaining three years of his sentence, this did not prevent them from celebrating and expressing their happiness. 

"Good news: the release of Nabeel Rajab, one of Bahrain's most prominent human rights activists," said Dr. Ghanem Al-Najjar, a professor of political science at Kuwait University. "The best news of 2020 and maybe 2019 as well!" commented Aya Majzoub, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.

"The news of the release of the great Bahraini defender Nabeel Rajab is exceptional and beautiful in this difficult and bad time," said Dr. Abdullah Al-Awda, a visiting professor at George Washington University and son of jailed Saudi preacher Sheikh Salman Al-Awda. I hope all rights defenders and prisoners of conscience will be released."

Abdullah Al-Saleh, a Kuwaiti journalist and YouTuber in the UK, commented by saying: "Nabeel Rajab's joy among his family is invaluable. His steadfastness in detention is to be taught for future generations. His family's patience for his separation is a sign of sincere love and a great belief that he is oppressed. Congratulations to Nabeel, his family, his loved ones and all the free people."

"The Bahraini authorities, who are covered in the Israeli lobby in Washington, released Nabeel Rajab after five years in prison for tweeting against the war in Yemen," said Lebanese writer Asaad Abu Khalil.

Mohammed Safa, Secretary-General of Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, said: "Congratulations to the human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. His freedom remains incomplete as long as Bahrain's prisons are full of defenders."

Kuwaiti writer and cartoonist Jafar Rajab left a brief tweet saying: "The free Nabeel Rajab... The apple of free people's eye in the Gulf." Meanwhile, Saudi activist Yahya Al-Asiri tweeted, "Great news, finally the release of noble human rights activist Nabeel Rajab from prison after five years on charges of criticizing the Bahraini and Saudi authorities. This is not the first time Nabeel Rajab gets arrested, and he is aware of the price of the great work he offers, but our peoples are paying a high price to resist this injustice and tyranny, and it must be eliminated."

Dr. Salah Al-Fadli from Kuwait wrote, "The release of Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab is a joyous piece of news for human rights defenders. We need the toughness of such a man."

Kuwaiti researcher and writer Fakher Al-Sultan made use of Nabeel Rajab's release to urge his government to release political prisoners. "Bahrain has released human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, while Kuwait continues to ignore calls for the release and pardon of opinion-makers and dissidents among MPs, politicians and tweeters.

"If there is no need to release them because of Coronavirus disease, there is a human right and human necessity."

Ahwazi tweeter Ali Al Kathir wrote "Congratulations to the Bahraini people following 5 years of imprisonment of prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab."

Law No. (18) for the year 2017 on penalties and alternative measures in Bahrain stipulates 7 types of punishments in which the judge can issue instead of the main punishments. Meanwhile, article (2) of this law specified these penalties as follows: a) Community service; b) House arrest in a specified location; c) Prohibition from accessing a specified place or places; d) Pledging not to contact certain persons or entities; e) Being subject to electronic surveillance; f) Attending rehabilitation and training programs; g) Repairing the damage caused by the crime.

Meanwhile, Nabeel Rajab's lawyer, Mohammed Al-Jishi, revealed that it remains unclear what the alternative punishment would be for Rajab.

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