Bahrain activist receives jail time for tweets

Published January 20th, 2015 - 09:09 GMT

A Bahraini court has handed down a six-month jail to a senior Shia activist for insulting the Manama regime in his tweets, a judicial source says.

The source noted on Tuesday that the ruling was handed down to Nabeel Rajab on charges of insulting public institutions on Twitter.

Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, has been on trial over remarks he posted on Twitter that were regarded as insulting to the Al Khalifa regime.

He was arrested on October 1, 2014, after posting comments about reports that members of Bahrain’s security forces had joined the ISIL militants in Iraq, and was charged with “publicly insulting official institutions.”

Rajab had been freed in May 2014 after serving two years in prison for participating in anti-regime protests.

On January 16, Human Rights Watch and the [Persian] Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) called on Bahrain’s Western allies to exert pressure on Manama to drop charges against the prominent human rights activist.

“Bahrain’s allies including the United Kingdom, Germany, France and other European countries should publicly call on Manama to drop charges against the human rights advocate, Nabeel Rajab,” the rights groups said.

The two groups were among 16 international rights organizations that sent letters to European officials calling for them to urge the Bahraini authorities to drop the prosecution of Rajab.

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