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Bogus Charges Against Bahraini Human Rights Activist Must Be Dropped

on December 22, 2011

Last week, Bahraini authorities wrongfully detained human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, while she engaged in nonviolent, peaceful protest against Bahraini government policies. As this video shows, Zainab was dragged away by law enforcement officers who, according to Amnesty International allegedly beat her outside the view of cameras before taking her into custody against her will.

Zainab’s violent arrest shows that Bahraini authorities have not lived up to their pledge to address allegations of excessive force against peaceful protesters. In November, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) released a report which uncovered systematic torture, excessive use of force, and other serious human rights violations  against the citizens of Bahrain. If the King Al Khalifa is serious about addressing allegations of these severe rights abuses, his government must stop locking up and beating its citizenry.

While Zainab has been released on bail, Bahrain has not dropped the politically motivated charges against her. And while Zainab’s release may be encouraging, Zainab’s husband and father – also human rights activists – remain imprisoned and have been allegedly tortured for their pro-democracy activism.

King Al Khalifa: Drop the bogus charges against Zainab and honor your pledge to improve the human rights situation in your Kingdom.

Places: Bahrain