Detained Since: February 14, 2012.
Charges: The establishment of a group for the purpose of disabling the constitution.
Sentence: Fifteen years in prison.
Biography: Naji Fateel is a board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), a blogger and prolific tweeter, reporting on human rights violations. During marches and protests in villages he has given speeches about human rights and encouraged people to document and monitor violations. Naji Fateel was arrested without warrant at dawn at his home in the village of Bani Jamra, northwestern Bahrain. The house was raided by 12 plain clothed police officers who searched the house and took away with them his daughter’s laptop, his camera and phones. The family home was surrounded by riot police during the raid. No reason for his arrest was given and he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated before he was transferred to Dry Dock Prison on May 5, 2013.
On July 11, 2013, Naji Fateel appeared before the Fourth Criminal Court and was charged under Article 6 of the Terrorism Act. This time, he received a sentence of 15 years' imprisonment. . Photographic evidence of torture inflicted against Naji Fateel during his detention has also emerged. On 29 May 2014, the Appeals Court of Bahrain upheld a 15-year sentence against Fateel. Front Line Defenders sent an observer to Naji Fateel's first instance trial, which fell short of fair due process guarantees.