[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.