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Bahrain rights activist loses appeal of conviction over Tweets

[JURIST] A Bahrain court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who was sentenced to five years [JURIST report] in February over Tweets critical of the Bahraini government.

Rajab is the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights [advocacy website]. He was convicted over Tweets [Twitter feed] about Bahraini prison torture and civilians casualties from Saudi Arabia-led conflict with Yemen.

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] expressed disappointment [press release] with Tuesday's decision. In a statement Lynn Maalouf, AI's Middle East Research Director, said:

The Bahraini Court of Appeal has missed a vital opportunity to do the right thing and set Nabeel Rajab free. His ongoing detention is further proof of the Bahraini authorities' relentless determination to squash the right to freedom of expression and silence any peaceful criticism.
Since 2012, Rajab has been in and out of prison on various charges related to his activism. Currently, he is serving a sentence [JURIST report] for media comments from 2015 and 2016. Rajab was banned from leaving Bahrain in November 2014.

According to AI, Rajab is expected to pursue a final appeal before Bahrain's Court of Cassation.

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