Bahraini court upholds jail term for rights activist

Manama

Bahrain’s Court of Cassation, which has the ultimate say in the case of appeals in the country, upholds a two-year jail sentence issued for noted rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab.
Rajab has faced two trials, one concerning his criticism of the ruling regime in alleged interviews he has given and statements made to foreign media, and another having to do with his critical tweets.
On Monday, the court confirmed the jail term issued against Rajab in the first trial over the charge of “disseminating rumors and false information”, a judicial source was quoted as saying.
The comments he has made to the media outlets include an article attributed to him and published by French daily Le Monde. The authorities have said the alleged statements “harm the interests” of the Manama regime and other Persian Gulf countries.
He could also be served with a separate 15-year sentence over the tweets, in which he has slammed Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Bahrain, for their involvement in the three-year-old war on Yemen.
Rajab was first detained on June 13, 2016 for the tweets. He will face a new hearing over the case on February 21. UK-based rights body Amnesty International, which has repeatedly taken exception with Manama’s campaign of suppresion, has called Rajab’s trials “farcical”.—Agencies

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