A Bahraini appeals court has refused to release human rights activist Nabeel Rajab on bail, as requested by his lawyers, judicial sources say. The court said on Monday that the next hearing in Rajab's case would be held on September 27. The Fifth Minor Criminal Court in Manama sentenced Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, to three months in jail for 'insulting the people of the Muharraq Island on Twitter' in June.
The appeals court dropped the charges last month, but the activist will remain in jail to serve another three-year sentence handed down to him on August 16 for taking part in "unauthorized" protests against Bahrain's monarchy.Human rights groups including Amnesty International have called for Rajab’s immediate release, arguing that the activist has been jailed for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. The sentence is "a dark day for justice in Bahrain," Amnesty said. Bahrain's revolution began in mid-February 2011 when the people started holding massive demonstrations. The government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests. AGB/DB/MA/HJL