Bahraini Court Refuses to Free Jailed Activist

Bahraini Court Refuses to Free Jailed Activist

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A Bahrainه court refused Monday to free prominent activist Nabeel Rajab saying he was not eligible for early release from jail.

Rajab, who was arrested in the wake of the crackdown on protests in the tiny Persian Gulf country in 2011 for taking part in unauthorized protests, is serving a two-year sentence.

His sentence was later reduced on appeal to two years from an initial three and according lawyers and right groups he had been eligible for early release late last month.

"The court rejected the request made by a group of lawyers who argue that the activist is eligible for an early release after serving three quarters of his sentence," AFP quoted a judicial source on Monday.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International had also called for his release saying he would have served three-quarters of his sentence by November 29.

"On Friday 29 November he will have served three-quarters of his two-year sentence and will become legally eligible for release," Amnesty had said in a statement just days before.

Rajab, who heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, led anti-government protests following the brutal crackdown on demonstrations against the regime in March 2011.

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