Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Top Bahrain rights activist sentenced to five years in prison - lawyer

Top Bahrain rights activist sentenced to five years in prison - lawyer Top Bahrain rights activist sentenced to five years in prison - lawyer
Patty Aguilar | 21 February, 2018, 21:14

A Bahraini court on Wednesday slapped a prominent rights activist with a 5-year jail term for his criticism of a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen and accusing the authorities of torture.

Rajab's Twitter account confirmed that the activist had been sentenced to five years in prison.

The charges in that case stemmed from television interviews during which Rajab merely told journalists that Manama bars reporters and human rights workers from entering Bahrain.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, an activist with the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), said Bahraini courts were "curtailing freedom of expression by deterring Bahraini citizens from criticising its authorities".

The International Federation for Human Rights, in a joint statement with Rajab's Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the World Organisation against Torture, said his imprisonment "illustrates once again the current crackdown on any dissenting voice in Bahrain".

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"It should take punitive action over this verdict and send the American ambassador to visit Rajab in prison to tell him that the USA is on his side and against this reckless repression", he said.

Rajab's son Adam tweeted on Wednesday that, on hearing the verdict, his father laughed in the courtroom and flashed a peace sign.

Manama has responded to the protests with lethal force, drawing global criticism.

Worldwide rights groups denounced the ruling as a violation of freedom of expression.

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