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Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain activist, jailed for 3 years

Activist Nabeel Rajab, already in prison for Twitter activity, to stay behind bars.

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A Bahraini Shiite Muslim youth holds a picture of prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a demonstration in his solidarity along with jailed dissident Abdulhadi Khawaja in the village of Daih, west of Manama, on June 11, 2012. Bahraini authorities re-arrested Rajab on June 6, pending a probe into tweets deemed insulting to Sunnis, prosecutors said, nine days after he had been freed. (Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images)

A leading Bahrain activist and founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights was jailed for three years today on charges of anti-government activity, reported Reuters

Nabeel Rajab, already in jail for a separate case tied to his outspoken political Twitter activity, was given three one-year jail sentences today -- one for each of the non-violent protests he helped lead, his lawyer told Reuters

More from GlobalPost: In Bahrain, life in prison just for protesting

The Associated Press said the "unexpectedly stiff sentence" may undermine the ruling Sunni monarchy's promises of reform in response to months of massive anti-government protests in the small Gulf island nation, which is home to a majority Shiite population.

Rajab's attorney, Mohammed al-Jishi, said his client will appeal the verdict, according to AP

Rajab was earlier improisoned for a tweet about the country's prime minister the court found offensive to Bahrainis, said Reuters

Bahrain is home to the US Navy's 5th fleet.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120816/nabeel-rajab-bahrain-activist-jailed-3-years