SHFAQNA – Activists and international rights groups have voiced their outrage over Wednesday’s court verdict, which upheld a 2-year prison sentence against Bahrain’s Nabeel Rajab.
Amnesty International described the ruling as ‘shameful’.
“He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally,” the group said in a Tweet.
The leading human rights defender was sentenced in July of this year after being found guilty of “publishing and broadcasting fake news that undermines the prestige of the state”.
The charges stem from television interviews during which Rajab told journalists that Manama bars reporters and human rights workers from entering Bahrain.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said in a statement on Wednesday that the latest court ruling is “another injustice” against the activist.
Meanwhile, the CEO at Index on Censorship, Jodie Ginsberg, called the decision “outrageous”.
“Nabeel has committed no crime. Bahrain needs to end this injustice and its harassment of Nabeel,” Ginsberg said.
The Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, echoed the sentiment.
“This is a slap in the face of free expression and tragically proves Nabeel’s point that the justice system is corrupt. Bahrain’s rulers are fearful of the truth and have lashed out against it once again,” Alwadaei explained.
Rajab faces a further 15 years in prison over a separate set of charges related to tweets criticizing the bombardment of Yemen and Manama’s use of torture. His next court hearing has been scheduled for December 31.