Germany Deeply Concerned about Sentencing of Bahrain HR Activist Nabeel Rajab

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The Government of Germany said that it is deeply concerned about the sentencing of Bahrain human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, appealing to the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain “to fulfill its obligations to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

“The sentencing of Bahraini human rights activists and opposition politician Nabeel rajab to five years imprisonment for Twitter statements is a matter of grave concern given the many reports raising doubts about the rule of law,” said Bärbel Kofler, German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office.

The human rights commissioner also urged Bahrain to honour its constitution’s commitment to freedom of speech and the press.

“Every government must face the criticism of its citizens and deal with it with factual arguments,” said Kofler. “Freedom of expression and the press enjoy constitutional protection in Bahrain as well. There must also be an opportunity in social media to talk about grievances and undesirable developments openly.”

Kofler further expressed concern about yesterday’s decision by the Bahraini parliament to withdraw the right to vote for former members of dissolved political groups, noting that this “carries the danger of a further polarization of society,” also appealing to the Kingdom of Bahrain not to sign this law.