For Immediate Release: April 22, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Prominent Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab should be given immediate access to the medical attention he requires, said Human Rights First today. Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), is serving a two-year prison sentences for tweeting about protests, and is reportedly being denied medical treatment for a back injury.
“Nabeel shouldn’t be in prison in the first place, but while he is, Bahrain authorities have a duty to provide him with necessary medical treatment,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Nabeel’s wife, Sumaya, told me she just spoke to her husband on the phone. She said whenever Nabeel goes to the prison clinic, he just gets the same inadequate medication and he is forced to sit or lie down most of the day because of the severe pain.”
Rajab says he has had chronic disc problems in his back since a beating by the police eight years ago and that he is being denied proper medical attention and medication. Families of other political prisoners, including that of Mahdi Abu Deeb, President of the Bahrain Teachers Association, also say necessary medical treatment is being denied to detainees.
“It’s hard to see why the Bahrain regime would want to attract more negative attention to itself by failing to treat Nabeel’s injury,” said Dooley.
Rajab is one of the most respected and well known human rights activists in the region. In 2012, Human Rights First awarded the BCHR the Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty.
For more information or to speak with Dooley, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at email@example.com or 202-370-3323.