Bahrain activist’s daughter sentenced to two months in jail for tearing up picture of king News
Bahrain activist’s daughter sentenced to two months in jail for tearing up picture of king
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[JURIST] Zainab al-Khawaja, the daughter of Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], was sentenced Wednesday to two months in prison for tearing up a picture of the country’s king, according to her lawyer. Mohammed al-Jishi condemned [AP report] the sentence as being too harsh, stating that penalties for such offenses are usually mere fines. Zainab still faces eight additional charges arising out of her anti-government protest in Al Qadam. She was detained [JURIST report] in August by Bahraini police and was subsequently charged with destruction of government property. She had been also sentenced to a month [JURIST report] in jail for attempting to organize anti-government protest in addition to her $530 fine for a separate charge of insulting a government employee. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) [advocacy website] alleged that Zainab was subject to verbal assault, threats and rough handling.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja ended his 110-day hunger strike [JURIST report] in May after more than three months. He protested the imprisonment of Bahraini pro-democracy demonstrators, including himself. He was sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] by a military tribunal in June 2011. In late April of this year, a Bahrain appeals court ruled that Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and 20 others should be retried in a civilian chamber [JURIST report], but they must stay incarcerated pending a new verdict. Tension between Bahrain’s government and protesters has persisted since government forces clashed with protesters in February 2011 during pro-democracy demonstrations. The Bahrain Information Affairs authority announced in July that they had brought charges against 15 police officers [JURIST report] for alleged “mistreatment of inmates in custody.” In May Bahraini authorities arrested [JURIST report] prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. Earlier in that month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called for the immediate release [JURIST report] of the leader’s of last year’s anti-government protests, including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.