International calls for the release of blogger Naji Fateel

Blogger Naji Fateel, co-founder of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, was sentenced in September to 15 years in prison for “the establishment of a group for the purpose of disabling the constitution,” under Article 6 of Bahrain’s Terrorism Act, a sentence widely condemned by international human rights groups. While Fateel was allowed an appeal, Bahrain’s Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development has refused entry to the country for international observers. In response, IFEX—along with the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Front Line Defenders, Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders—has issued the following statement: “The co-signed organisations denounce this obstacle to observing the trial, which manifestly aims to hinder their human rights activities and impedes Naji Fateel’s right to a fair trial. They further call upon the Bahraini authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the right to freedom of movement to both local and international human rights defenders in Bahrain as enshrined by Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the 1998 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. We collectively and strongly call on the Government of Bahrain to meet its international obligations and grant immediate and unconditional access to Bahrain for international human rights observers and journalists. Our organisations also call upon the Government of Bahrain to put an end to the judicial harassment against Naji Fateel, and to release him immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities.”BahrainNaji Fateelthe establishment of a group for the purporse of disabling the constitutionsArt 6Anti-TerrorismIndividualIFEX, Arabic NEtwork for Human RIghts Information, Cairo Institute for Human RIghts Studies, Front Line Defenders, Gulf Center for Human RightsMinistry of Human Rights1.3Dec 10, 2013