Bahrain puts off rights activist's appeal hearing to March 4
(Reuters) - Bahrain has postponed until March 4 a hearing by Nabeel Rajab, one of the Arab world's most prominent democracy campaigners, on his appeal against a conviction for publicly insulting two state institutions, according to his Twitter account.
As founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Rajab took a leading role in demonstrations led by Bahrain's majority Shi'ite Muslim community in 2011 calling for reforms in the Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab kingdom.
He was freed in May 2014 after two years in jail on charges of organizing and participating in illegal protests. Last month, however, a Manama court convicted and sentenced Rajab to six months in jail on the insult charge.
"My next appeal hearing will be on 4 March," tweeted Rajab, who is free on bail. The hearing had been set for Wednesday.
He added that the court had refused to lift a travel ban on him. Rajab's lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi confirmed the postponement on his Twitter account.
Bahrain, where the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iran
, quelled the 2011 uprising but has since struggled to resolve political deadlock between the government and Shi'ite opposition. Sporadic unrest has continued.
Many Shi'ites complain of political and economic discrimination, a charge the Manama authorities deny.