Following up on the arrest of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, the Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), made the following statement:

"I strongly condemn the arrest on 13 June 2016 of Nabeel Rajab, who is a leading human rights defender and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Mr Rajab was once again arrested for simply exercising his right to freedom of expression and for his peaceful human rights work. This arrest constitutes a blatant violation of Bahrain's commitments under international human rights law.


We are currently witnessing increasing intimidation of human rights defenders in Bahrain. On the same day as Mr Rajab's arrest, the authorities imposed travel bans on eight other human rights activists who were about to travel to Geneva to participate in the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council.


We cannot remain silent in the face of this worrying situation. I urgently call on the Bahraini authorities to put an end to the persecution of human rights defenders in the country and to unconditionally and without further delay release Nabeel Rajab".