Bahrain activist’s daughter sentenced to month in jail for staging protest

A court in Bahrain on May 24 sentenced Zainab al-Khawaja, the daughter of jailed pro-democracy activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja to one month in prison for trying to organize an anti-government protest, according to Bahraini opposition groups. The court also fined her $530 on a separate charge of insulting a government employee. Zainab al-Khawaja refused to pay the fine and will face an additional 40 days in prison unless she pays it. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been on hunger strike for three months, expressing opposition to the Bahraini government’s ongoing trials of pro-democracy protesters. He was sentenced to life in prison n June 2011. Zainab al-Khawaja is scheduled for another hearing this weekend on other protest-related charges.

From Jurist, May 25. Used with permission.

See our last posts on Bahrain and the Arab revolutions.

  1. Bahrain rights activist ends hunger strike
    Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has ended his hunger strike because he believes he has adequately raised awareness of his cause, al-Khawaja’s wife told Reuters May 28. Al-Khawaja has been on a hunger strike for over three months to protest the imprisonment of Bahraini pro-democracy demonstrators, including himself. He was sentenced to life in prison by a military tribunal in June 2011. In late April of this year, a Bahrain appeals court ruled that al-Khawaja and 20 others should be retried in a civilian chamber, but they must stay incarcerated pending a new verdict. Al-Khawaja will consent to medical treatment to assist in his recovery. He will not attend a retrial hearing on May 29 due to his health. (Jurist, May 29)

  2. Bahrain to compensate families for protester deaths
    The Bahrain government on June 26 announced that it would pay $2.6 million in restitution to the families of protesters killed in pro-democracy protests last year. The government said that the compensation was to comply with the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which suggested in its report last year that the government “compensate and provide remedies for the families of the deceased victims in a manner that is commensurate with the gravity of their loss.” The government reported that each person would receive approximately $153,000, but no list of families was released. The report, issued in November 2011, concluded that Bahrain authorities had used excessive force and tortured detainees involved in the pro-democracy demonstrations earlier that year. The report also recommended that the government compensate victims of torture and ill-treatment. (Jurist, June 26)