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On 5 June, Bahrain’s High Criminal Court of Appeal upheld a five year prison sentence against Nabeel Rajab for comments posted on social media. As with previous rulings in January and February 2018, there are reasons to believe that his right to a fair trial was not respected.
The European Union reiterates its unconditional support to the work undertaken by human rights defenders such as Mr Rajab. Freedom of opinion and expression are essential features of any democratic system and need to be upheld.
The European Union continues to call on the Bahraini government to grant Mr Rajab's release, including on humanitarian grounds given the reported deterioration of his health. Once again, the European Union expects all parties in Bahrain to engage in a genuine dialogue with a view to relaunching a process of national reconciliation in a peaceful and constructive manner.