Bahraini human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawaja was handed an additional 16 month sentence for insulting a public official, according to her sister Maryam Al-Khawaja, co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights.
Last week, Zainab Al-Khawaja was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 3,000 Bahraini Dinar (£5,000). She was on trial for tearing up a photo of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa at an October court date where she faced charges connected to previous rights campaigning. This comes only a week after she gave birth to her second child.
In a tweet, Maryam Al-Khawaja criticised the United Kingdom’s decision to move forward with a military base in Bahrain. “UK basically gave Bahrain regime a free pass to do pretty much anything they want,” she wrote.
The Al-Khawaja family have been heavily involved in Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement, and have been continuously targeted by authorities in the constitutional monarchy.
Al-Khawaja’s father Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja has been serving a life sentence since 2011 for the role he played in the country’s ongoing protest movement which started that year. Her sister Maryam Al-Khawaja boycotted the recent court hearing which saw her sentenced to one year in prison on what is widely acknowledged to be trumped up charges.