Jail for Bahrain protest leader over tweet

Nabeel Rajab given three-month prison term for "insulting" some Bahrainis in tweet criticising prime minister.

    Jail for Bahrain protest leader over tweet
    Rajab has been a central figure in organising demonstrations during the country's protest movement

    Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini opposition leader, has been sentenced to three months in prison for "insulting" some Bahrainis in a tweet criticising the prime minister, Rajab's lawyer and the state news agency have said. 

    Police took Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), into custody after the court's ruling on Tuesday, according to a colleague from the BCHR. 

    Rajab, who has been a major figure in organising demonstrations during the country's 16-month protest movement, spent three weeks in jail in June under investigation after suggesting in a tweet that residents of the Muharraq district had made a recent show of support for Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, the country's prime minister, only for financial gain. 

    "A group of people from Muharraq lodged a complaint against the defendant for slandering them with insulting expressions (via publication)," the Bahrain News Agency said, citing chief prosecutor Nayef Yusuf Mahmoud.

    It also said that Rajab's statements made on the social media site Twitter had cast doubt on their patriotism.

    Mohammed al-Jishi, Rajab's lawyer, said the complaint was raised by a group of around 50 people, including retired army and security officers.

    An official from the government's information affairs authority said the complaint was filed by two prominent residents after they were approached by the Muharraq community over what they felt were defamatory and insulting accusations.

    Jishi said Rajab would lodge an appeal and that the judge had said the time Rajab had already spent in jail would count towards the sentence.

    "Every day there are a thousand people insulting a thousand people; this isn't logical. Normally the charge of insult leads to just a fine. So for me it's a surprise," Jishi said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.