[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Monday condemned [AI report] Bahrain’s sentencing of a human rights defender. Nabeel Rajab [Front Line Defenders profile] was originally arrested in June 2016 after he tweeted about alleged torture in a Bahrani prison. A Bahrani court ordered his release in December 2016, but shortly after his release he was arrested on the current charges. Rajab was sentenced to two years in prison for the political opinions he expressed during interviews in 2015 and 2016. Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General [official profile], condemned the conviction as a brazen violation of human rights. Rajab is still facing numerous charges in cases expected to resume on August 7.
Bahrain has had their human rights record questioned multiple times in recently. In June a Bahrain court dissolved a major political party that has opposed the current government, an act that AI said [JURIST report] is a step towards total suppression of human rights. In March Bahrain’s upper house of parliament approved [JURIST report] a constitutional amendment that would allow military trials for civilians accused of being involved in terrorism plots. In September 2015 32 nations joined [JURIST report] a statement to the UN urging Bahrain to protect freedom of peaceful assembly and speech, and to investigate reports of torture used on prisoners. In April 2015 a human rights group said [JURIST report] that Bahrain’s post-2011 reforms had failed to put a stop to human rights violations including illegal detentions and torture. And in February 2015 the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior started [JURIST report] a criminal investigation against a political opposition group for allegedly illegal content posted on social media