The man doth tweet too much: Nabeel Rajab sentenced to prison
Infamous Bahraini opposition activist and head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab has been sentenced to three years in prison for taking part in "unauthorised" anti-government protests, according to his lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi.
"The court has sentenced Nabeel Rajab to three years in jail over three cases of taking part in unauthorised protests," the lawyer tweeted. He also confirmed that the defence team would be appealing this verdict.
This isn't the first time Rajab has got on the wrong side of Bharani law. The Shiite rights activist shot to prominence in March last year when he led anti-government protests following a severe crackdown on Shiite-led demonstrations against the regime. The activist refused to bow to pressure and continued demonstrating inside Manama, unlike the main Shiite opposition who began to focus their efforts on smaller demonstrations in villages
With over 140,000 followers on Twitter, Rajab is one of the most well-known online activists in the Arab world.
Just days after being released on bail following a month behind bars for charges including protests, the avid tweeter was quickly dragged in again for allegedly insulting members of the Sunni community on the social networking site. He received a sentence of three months for this offence but the final decision will not be reached until the appeal hearing on August 23, his lawyer said.
Rajab has quickly gained the support of Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) for whom he serves as Deputy Secretary General. The organisation has publicly condemned the sentences against him and called for his immediate release.
FIDH president Souhayr Belhassen released a statement saying: "Arbitrarily imprisoning human rights defenders will not stop the people from aspiring to freedom and democratic change.
"We hope that the international community will firmly condemn this decision and will call for Nabeel's release."