12/11/2012

Bahrain activist Nabeel Rajab's prison sentence reduced

bbcnews

An appeals court in Bahrain has reduced the prison sentence handed to prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab from three years to two.

The court upheld Mr Rajab's conviction for encouraging "illegal gatherings".
His lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, told the Associated Press that he was cleared of a charge of insulting police.
Mr Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, has been a leader of the pro-democracy protests which have rocked the kingdom since February 2011.
The 48-year-old is also one of the most well-known activists in the Arab world, with more than 185,000 followers on Twitter.
Mr Rajab's wife, Sumaya, said she had spoken to him briefly in court on Tuesday after the appeal against his conviction was rejected.
"He told me he was not expecting two years. He was thinking that they would release him," she told the BBC.
On Sunday, US Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner urged the authorities to "drop charges against all persons accused of offenses involving non-violent political expression and freedom of assembly".
The next day, another activist, Zainab al-Khawaja, was sentenced a month in prison for entering the "prohibited area" of the former site of Manama's Pearl Roundabout - the focus of last year's unrest.