Prominent Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to six months in jail on Tuesday after criticizing the country’s security forces on Twitter.
Rajab was arrested in October for tweeting that Bahrain’s security organizations are “ideological incubators” for those who join terrorist groups.
Rajab sent a tweet about the sentence from his official account and explained that in order to stay out of jail, he would be required to pay 200 Bahraini Dinars (about $530). The conviction carried a sentence of up to six years.
Dozens of international human rights organizations have campaigned for Rajab’s release and have petition the Bahraini government to have the conviction reversed. His conviction is the latest in several actions against opposition activists by Bahrain. The UK-based Index on Censorship issued a statement condemning the sentence.
“Nabeel Rajab has been sentenced for doing nothing more than exercising his right to express an opinion. We condemn the actions of the Bahraini authorities — whose foreign minister marched in Paris to defend freedoms that Bahrain denies the people in its own country. We urge the UK and other allies of Bahrain to join us in calling for this sentence to be overturned,” Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg said in the statement.
Rajab’s lawyer said he will appeal the sentence.
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