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Justice Sociale / Démocratie Directe / Nation Europe et الأمة العربية de Stéphane Parédé ستيفان بردي

Bahrain activist Zainab al-Khawaja sentenced to jail

2 Mars 2013 , Rédigé par justicesocialeetdemocratiedirecte.over-blog.com

Zainab al-Khawaja at a protest in Manama (18 April 2012)
Zainab al-Khawaja has been detained and imprisoned several times since February 2011

A court in Bahrain has sentenced pro-democracy activist Zainab al-Khawaja to three months in prison.

Ms Khawaja received the sentence after a court of appeal overturned an earlier acquittal.

The state news agency said she was found guilty of "insulting and humiliating a public employee."

Ms Khawaja has been a leading activist in the Gulf kingdom, which has been in political turmoil since pro-democracy protests erupted in February 2011.

She had previously served sentences of one and two months in two other cases.


Bahrain crisis timeline

  • 14 February, 2011: Demonstrators occupy iconic landmark , Pearl Roundabout in the capital
  • 14 March: Gulf Cooperation Council force led by Saudi troops enters Bahrain. Police clear Pearl Roundabout
  • March-April: Hundreds arrested, thousands sacked from their jobs. Protest continue, 35 killed
  • 23 November: Protests continue as Cherif Bassiouni releases damning report on human rights abuses. Authorities accept findings
  • Feb 10, 2013: Opposition and pro-government groups open dialogue but unrest continues

'Continued harassment'

The appeal court decision was announced the day after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) issued a statement condemning "the continued harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression in Bahrain".

The statement also made reference to "the lack of guaranteed due process" in the trials of 13 political activists, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.

Among the signatories was the United States, which had declined to sign a similar statement last year.

Bahrain is a member of an advisory committee to the UNHRC.

On 14 February 2011, peaceful protesters took over Pearl Roundabout. Three days later security forces cleared the site using tear gas, batons and birdshot.

As violence escalated 35 people, including five police officers, were killed, hundreds more were hurt and thousands jailed in February and March 2011.

Since then, opposition and human rights activists say more than 50 people have died, a figure which the government disputes.

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