Bahrain has reduced the jail sentence handed down to Nabeel Rajab, one of the leading figures in anti-government demonstrations in the country. However, the move was not welcomed by human rights activists.
A Bahraini court on Tuesday cut the jail sentence imposed on rights activist Nabeel Rajab from three years to two, according to lawyers.
The reduction in the jail sentence was "completely hollow given that he shouldn't be serving any time in prison in the first place," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Rajab did “nothing wrong, except peacefully express his views. A two-year prison sentence, just like a three-year sentence, is an insult and an injustice that can only be rectified by releasing him," Luther added.
The Sunni-ruled gulf state's main Shiite opposition group, Al-Wefaq, said Rajab had "exercised his right to demonstrate peacefully" and demanded his release.
Rajab had been sentenced to three years in prison for leading protests against the al-Khalifa dynasty that rules Bahrain. He is also the founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
Protests in Bahrain have continued to occur sporadically since Shiite-led anti-government violence first broke out on February 14, 2011. That is despite a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations in March 2011.
According to the country's interior ministry, over 700 people, have been injured in the protests.
sej/pfd (AFP, Reuters)