December 3, 2015
Ali Isa Al-Tajer, brother of human rights lawyer Mohammed Al- Tajer, has been charged on baseless grounds. Since his detention a month ago he has been also subjected to torture and was forced to sign confessional papers.
On 30 November 2015 at approximately 2:30pm the public prosecution called Mohammed Al-Tajer and told him that investigations against Ali Isa Al-Tajer were to start at 3pm that day.
The defence lawyers stated that Ali Isa looked pale and frightened in the courtroom and believed that he was threatened in the court before the hearing began. A request from the lawyers to meet Ali Isa before the hearing was denied and the five minutes that were granted with him after the hearing were conducted in the presence of three policemen.
The charges brought against Ali Isa include, joining a terrorist organisation to overthrow the government by force and training individuals to use weapons for terrorist purposes. Despite the prosecutor’s attempts to get him to admit to the charges in court he denied all the charges. However, the prosecutor told the court that Ali Isa signed papers confessing to the charges. Ali Isa told the court that he was subjected to torture and forced to sign the papers when he was blindfolded.
[JURIST] Bahrain Public Prosecution on Sunday extended the period of detention of Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab [personal Twitter account; JURIST news archive] by 15 days, citing a need for further investigation. According to Rajab’s wife, the activist was arrested [BBC report] on April 2 for tweets he posted about torture practices in Jau prison. At the time of his arrest Rajab was released on bail for charges relating to a September tweet criticizing security institutions in Bahrain, suggesting that they acted as an “ideological incubator” for jihadists. This 15 day extension by the prosecution marks the second such extension [MEE report] this month, the first of which was made on April 11. A statement from the prosecution said that Rajab stands accused of “spreading tendentious rumors” and “attacking a state institution.” The extension was criticized by directory of advocacy for the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy [official website] Sayed Alwadaei [personal Twitter account], who called on the EU and UK to speak out against Rajab’s trial and in support of freedom of expression and accused Bahrain of targeting the activist for revealing torture practices rather than those who committed the torture. Both Britain and the United States have demanded that Rajab be released and the case against him be dropped.
On 20 January, a verdict is expected in the trial of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini activist and internationally recognized human rights defender. President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and a member of Human Rights Watch’s Advisory Board, Rajab is charged with insulting public institutions via Twitter.