The news of Nabeel Rajab's pardon and release in Bahrain earlier this week was excellent to hear. I was personally very glad and relieved, especially where his release came just days after the European Parliament resolution on Bahrain. Nevertheless, must remain vigilant to ensure he remains free, that the Bahraini government follows up on its committments, and releases all other imprisoned human rights defenders and political prisoners.
My fellow MEPs and I will continue to raise the issue of human rights in Bahrain, and across the region. Human rights defender Ibrahim Shariff was recently arrested in Bahrain, after mentioning the Parliament Resolution n a speech. He had been previously pardoned, and has now been imprisoned again regardless. Human rights organisations are now calling for his release.
The more the Bahraini government attempts to silence human rights defenders and democratic opposition leaders domestically, the more the international community, and the European Parliament, will speak out on the issue. This is an exmple of the strong role the EU can play in the world in promoting human rights.
I send my regards to Nabeel, his family, and community of human rights activists who worked to secure his release.