Freedom of speech is a right and a fundamental tool in the defense of human rights. Many governments continue to trample on this right. They use methods such as censuring, threats and even imprisonment to silence human rights defenders.

Just when social networks are becoming a platform for those who defend freedoms, many countries such as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia deride human rights by incarcerating defenders  solely for using Twitter to denounce the abuses committed by their governments.

It's hard to believe, but a tweet of fewer than 140 letters can land a human rights defender in jail these days.

With its RETWEET FOR FREEDOM, FIDH hopes to obtain freedom for the forgotten defenders who are in prison for having tweeted. We need your help!

Sharing these tweets means:

1/ Fighting censorship

2/ Mobilising public figures so that a tweet can no longer lead to years in prison.



Support defenders, share their tweets

Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain) - 15 years in prison for these tweets if convicted

Nabeel Rajab
I visited a young man who was just released from prison - the pictures will tell you how they were treated #Bahrain
03 November 2016

Nabeel Rajab
Save the #Children , #Women & civilian from the war in #Yemen -war brings hatred , miseries & blood but not solutions
03 November 2016

Ever since 2011, Bahrain authorities have been relentlessly harassing Nabeel Rajab [President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), and the FIDH Deputy Secretary General]. On 14 May 2015, an appeal court confirmed Nabeel's sentence of a firm 6 months of prison for having "insulted public institutions and the army" on Twitter. He served half of his sentence before receiving a royal pardon. He began being harassed again on 13 June 2016 and is now behind bars. He risks 15 years of imprisonment for other tweets promoting human rights.

Eric Paulsen (Malaysia) – 3 years in prison for this tweet if convicted

If convicted @EricPaulsen101 may face 3 years in prison for this tweet... Tweeting is not a crime! #RT4Freedom…
31 October 2016

Eric Paulsen, human rights lawyer and executive director and co-founder of "Lawyers for Liberty", has been charged with sedition and spent two days in custody because of a tweet he posted on January 9, 2016. In a reply to the Defence Minister comments on Twitter, he denounced the rise of extremism within the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development, the Jakim. Subsequently, the IGP (Inspector General of Police) tweeted that “such a statement ought to be investigated under the Sedition Act" and that "PDRM will investigate under the Sedition Act" with the word "Biadap" which means impolite / poorly brought-up in the Malay language. Following that, the tweet went viral, and Mr. Paulsen received insults and death threats.. Because of State and Public pressure, he deleted his tweet. No trial has yet been scheduled.

Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith (United Arab Emirates) – 3 to 15 years in prison for these tweets if convicted

ناصر بن غيث
ستبقى رابعة رمز للصمود والثبات على الحق من جانب ورمز للعار والتغول بالباطل من جانب آخر .. #ذكرى_فض_رابعة
02 December 2016

ناصر بن غيث
مناكبة الظلم ليست خياراً بل قدرٌ محتوم خاصة إن وقع الظلم على الدماء والأنفس .. #رابعة_الذكرى_الأليمة
02 December 2016

Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith is a university lecturer and human rights defender, who, for many years, has been subjected to harassment for his on-line activism. He was arrested in Abu Dhabi by officers from the UAE’s State Security body on 18 August 2015, days after he posted tweets that criticized Egyptian security forces for mass killing of demonstrators at Raba’a Square two years earlier. He was held in solitary confinement in a secret detention facility in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance for over nine months until after the start of his trial in April 2016. He was reportedly ill-treated and tortured during this time. He was only allowed to meet his lawyer for the first time at his second trial session, which took place on 2 May 2016. He is facing five charges - three of which violate his right to freedom of expression - under various provisions of the penal code, a 2012 cybercrime law and a 2014 counter-terrorism law. Some of these charges relate to "tweets and images ridiculing the Egyptian president and government.