- Published on Friday, 17 August 2012 06:56
This article, written by Louisa Loveluck, appeared on The Guardian on August 16,2012
A prominent Bahraini human rights activist has been sentenced to three years in prison for attending an "illegal demonstration".
Nabeel Rajab, who is already serving a three-month sentence for posting anti-government comments on Twitter, is the head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and one of the most outspoken critics of the island state's government.
His lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, said each of three cases against him yielded a year imprisonment, for a total of three years. Al-Jishi said he plans to appeal the ruling. Rajab will be sentenced later this month for statements he made on Twitter calling for the prime minister to step down and discussing his visit to a village outside of the capital Manama.
Amnesty International has identified Rajab as a prisoner of conscience. Speaking last month, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy programme director called for the release of Rajab and 22 other detainees: "The charade of justice has gone on too long, all prisoners of conscience must be set free immediately and unconditionally."
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