Bahrain Activist Zainab Al-Khawaja is Freed; Bahrain Coordinating Committee Pledges Its Support
[Washington, DC] May 29, 2012 — The DC-based Bahrain Coordinating Committee is pleased by today’s reports that Zainab Al-Khawaja, daughter of renowned human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, has been released from prison in Bahrain, after her trial last week and the payment of her bail (BD 200, about $530 US).
The Committee supports Al-Khawaja’s right to free political expression and her commitment to achieving human rights for the people of Bahrain.
Khawaja was sentenced to one month in jail for protesting the Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain. However, since she had already served more than a month in jail — – having been arrested on April 21 — she was freed.
The 29 year-old activist will appear in court again on June 24 to face charges related to organizing demonstrations.
Khawaja is known for her tenacious participation in demonstrations and sit-ins supporting the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain. She has emerged as a dynamic voice of the opposition, particularly in her use of social media. Khawaja has more than 42,000 Twitter followers and posts updates on her Twitter profile @angryarabiya.
About the Bahrain Coordinating Committee
The Bahrain Coordinating Committee is a Washington, DC-based grassroots movement that works to obtain U.S. support for democracy and human rights reforms in Bahrain. For more information, please visit http://www.BahrainCoordinatingCommittee.org
The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Prime Minister of Denmark called for the immediate release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a Bahraini activist who has been imprisoned for life in Bahrain, and who is also a Danish citizen.
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt stated that Mr. Khawaja’s health was in great danger resulting from abuse in prison and a 60+ day hunger strike. The minister received reports on Mr. Khawaja’s status from
Danish ambassador Christian Koenigsfeldt. The activist had been receiving daily visits from the Danish ambassador to Bahrain until two days ago, when the ambassador was denied access to him. The visits resumed Tuesday.
Amnesty International is also calling for his immediate release, while the U.S. has urged a “humanitarian” resolution.
Meanwhile, the Bahrain government remains defiant in the face of international pressure, with Ministry spokespersons stating “No state has the right to demand the release” of a citizen or a resident of Bahrain condemned by the “honest and independent” judiciary of the country.