Geneva: Bahrain’s government on Thursday rejected the findings of the UN report on the detention of dissident Nabeel Rajab.

The report said the detention was unlawful and violated his right to freedom of expression.

“As in all countries, there is a distinct difference between legitimate criticism of government and attempts to incite public disorder,” a government statement emailed to Reuters said.

Rajab was sentenced to five years in prison in February for criticising Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen.

A leading figure in the 2011 anti-government protests, he was already serving a two-year term over a news interview in which he accused Bahrain of torturing political prisoners.