Messages of support for Tammarod Bahrain from Human Rights Defender and Prisoner of Conscience Nabeel Rajab

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Nabeel Rajab (right) with Abdulhadi AlKhawaja (left)

Nabeel Rajab is the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. He is a current prisoner of conscience, serving a two-year sentence for calling for and participating in protests. Two weeks ago, he sent three messages from prison in which he offered his support for the Tamarrod Bahrain movement and renewed his calls for a Bahrain where there is "justice and equality between people and the protection of rights". The messages were smuggled out of prison and posted on Facebook in Arabic. Here are English translations:
My message to the street in this struggle;

Do not change. Be strong because the world does not respect the weak. Crying and pleading are actions of the weak. Begging will not return our rights, but will only make it more difficult and complicated to move. Steadfastness and insistence on the demands, our principles and values​​, struggle and sacrifice are the factors that will return our rights sooner or later. We should unify our ranks across all spectrum of society and should not surrender to sectarian schemes. With our solid determination  and strong will, and our weapons of peace, we will beat their deadly weapons. We should all multiply our efforts to empower each other in everything and we should all strive to be human rights activists, journalists, writers and artists to support our just cause. We need to expose to the world the injustices that the system practices on us, and the repression and brutality that it uses to confront the fair demands of the people.

My dear people, I send you greetings of sincerity and love. By God, I love you all and that any moment of sadness that I have passed through is because of being separated from you. But I have the strongest of faith, that you will not let the beacon fall from your hands but you will raise it high until victory is achieved, God willing.

You are the only guarantors of victory so do not give up, do not break, do not tire, do not despair. Stand high and raise your heads, because you are the people of principle and virtue who will instill these today for future generations - God bless you.

Posted on August 2nd 2013:


Hope is pinned on you, the struggling people, to reproduce the momentum and the spirit of your peaceful revolution, and to bring back the passion and the deep popularity, and to take the revolution to the locations that hurt the regime the most, which is Manama and its commercial and diplomatic surroundings. Retreat is not an option and weaknesses is not an option. This  miserable regime is betting that you will tire, and that you will get bored. It is betting on your fear of repression and terrorism, prove to it that your will is stronger than  all its arsenal and terrorism. We are facing a critical crossroads in the history of modern Bahrain, we will either become liberated like most of the nations the world today  or we will  stay slaves to this regime, living in humiliation for the rest of our lives. If we retreat, weaken or give up today, future generations will hold us to account. All peoples were liberated after long struggles but the secret to victory is patience and steadfastness.

Posted on August 4th 2013:


On August 2nd, Rajab's Twitter account - which has over 211,000 followers and is controlled by people outside prison - passed on this message of support for the protests on August 14th:
I call for rebellion (tamarrod) against all laws that violate the rights of the people. The law should be enacted to establish justice and equality between people and the protection of rights.
Within days of these messages sent from behind bars, on August 5th the Ministry of Interior decided to clarify that it wasn't giving its prisoners access to computers and tweeted that "tweets through inmates Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi AlKhawaja [...] are run by individuals outside the prison". This caused some amusement, as Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, a leading human rights defender who is the former President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, does not even have a Twitter account. The reference appears to be to the message that AlKhawaja sent out through his family the day before:
I am a rebel prisoner therefore I support calls for a peaceful "Tamarod" (rebellion) on 14 August against tyranny and oppression, considering it as a movement which transcends political and religious affiliations lead by youth with human rights as the common ground under the banner of "Right to Self determination" which can be achieved via an elected national conference representative of all.

I salute the free people of the world as well as the Human Rights organisations and all the conscientious journalists for their support of real reform in Bahrain and their attempt at protecting the Bahraini peoples civil and political rights, specifically peoples right to gather peacefully and express their opinions.

I call on the powers and governments that support the Bahrain government - especially the US and UK - to take their historical responsibility for the violations the Bahrain regime is committing, given they are the ones who built up the regimes institutions and oppressive apparatus, and provide it with political support.

WE await what will happen on 14 Aug and what will follow. Real change WILL come, inevitably.

Nonviolence does not mean surrender, but is the optimal method to put pressure on and expose the Bahrain regime with the least amount of loss and sacrifice towards the path of achieving and preserving human rights.
                           - Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, Jaw Prison

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