On Sunday, March 20th 2011, after they visited his father’s house, around 20 plain clothes policemen, armed with guns and wearing masks, entered Nabeel Rajab’s house at 2:00 am and started to search the house, as Nabeel, his wife and their young children were standing in the bedroom. After a search of 45 minutes, the police confiscated the computers and took some bags, books and CDs.
Nabeel Rajab was then tightly handcuffed in front of his family and taken into the back of a 4x4 car, where he was blindfolded.
For more than one hour, the police kept him in the car and started to insult him and to force him to praise the Bahraini highest authorities, by saying « Long live the Prime Minister, I love the Prime Minister ». As he refused to obey the orders, Rajab was insulted once more and kicked in the face by one of the policemen, while another one was threatening to rape him.
After more than one hour of physical and psychological abuse, Nabeel Rajab was transferred to another car, taken to some premices belonging to the Ministry of Interior for interrogation.
There, he was told by an officer that the police were following what he was saying on Twitter and troublemakers like him should leave the country.
He was finally sent back home at 4 am.
Mr. Rajab says his wallet is still missing and part of his body is still in pain, especially his ear is sore because of the beating he received last night.
FIDH urges the Bahraini Authorities to :
− guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Rajab as well as all members of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and all human rights defenders in the country;
− Put an end to any kinds of harassment against members of the human rights community in Bahrain
− Conform with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998 and in particular:
• its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;
• Article 5 (b), which states that “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels [...] to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups”;
• and its Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.