On 15 January 2018, Bahrain’s highest court upheld a two-year prison sentence against human rights defender Nabeel Rajab for comments he made in media interviews. His health has steadily worsened since his detention began in June 2016.
After undergoing surgery for bleeding ulcers on 5 April 2017, Nabeel was returned to Jau Prison where he developed a post-surgery infection due to the unhygienic detention conditions. Three days later, he was rushed back to the Ministry of Interior’s hospital in al-Qalaa. On 25 October, after six months at al-Qalaa, Nabeel was taken back to Jau Prison.
Since his arrest in June 2016, Nabeel underwent two operations, including one in October 2016 to remove his gallbladder. He suffered two bouts of heart palpitations that required emergency medical care. It is reported that Nabeel developed a range of other conditions, including depression.
The continuing detention of Nabeel Rajab despite his worsening health is alarming. Bahrain should improve detention conditions for all detainees, including Nabeel Rajab and provide them with timely access to health care.