8 October 2018 – Today, Nabeel Rajab received a diploma for reaching the final shortlist of candidates for the Council of Europe’s Václav Havel Human Rights Prize in Strasbourg.
Nabeel made it to the shortlist of the final three candidates and so received a diploma in recognition of his human rights work.
Nabeel’s son and daughter, Adam and Malak Rajab, attended the ceremony and accepted the diploma on their father’s behalf.
Speaking to the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Adam and Malak said:
“It is an honour that the Council of Europe has recognised our father’s struggle. It means a lot that his suffering has been acknowledged by the international community as he continues to be punished severely simply for speaking the truth. We hope that the support he has received today leads to his release so that he can return to our family as a free man.”
His prize was awarded to recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad, in 2016.
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize has been presented annually since its establishment in 2013. The €60,000 prize is bestowed upon those who deliver outstanding commitment and action in the defence of human rights, both in Europe and internationally.
In July 2017, Nabeel was sentenced to two years in prison for speaking to journalists.
In February 2018, he was sentenced to a further five years imprisonment for expressing critical comments on social media. Rajab tweeted his condemnation of the airstrikes in Yemen mounted by the Saudi-led coalition and exposed the widespread torture occuring in Bahrain’s infamous Jau Prison.
In August, The UN Working Group on arbitrary detention declared Rajab’s imprisonment is unlawful.