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.
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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.