The United Nations on Friday called for the release of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini activist sentenced to five years in jail for tweeting criticism of the Yemen war.
“We call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and to ensure that all Bahrainis are able to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression without fear of arbitrary detention,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN human rights office.
“We urge the government of Bahrain to stop criminalizing dissenting voices.”
Rajab, who played a key role in the 2011 anti-government protests, on Monday lost his final appeal against a five-year jail term for allegedly writing tweets deemed ‘offensive’ to the regime.
Bahrain’s supreme court, whose verdicts are final, upheld the jail term against him.
He was convicted of ‘endangering’ the Saudi-led military campaign, which includes Bahrain, on Yemen and publicly offending a foreign country, a reference to Saudi Arabia.
Rajab is also serving a two-year sentence in a separate case linked to interviews with the foreign press.