Saturday, December 17, 2011

Zainab al-Khawaja's Arrest

Mona Kareem provides information on Zainab al-Khawaja, who was arrested in Bahrain two days ago:
"Zainab was arrested while she was sitting in a roundabout on the Budaiya Highway, as part of a sit-in called for by protesters called Occupy Budaiya Street which aimed at pressuring the government to release political prisoners and pay tribute to Bahrain's 40-plus martyrs, killed at the hand of security forces since the unrest started.

"According to her sister Maryam, Zainab was arrested with another woman called Masooma Al-Sayed and was charged with illegal gathering, assaulting a female officer, and inciting hatred against the regime. The prosecutor decided to detain both women for seven days under investigation. Zainab was sprayed in her eyes when she was arrested and was unable to see for an hour. In the police station, Zainab was beaten on the head, arms and legs, as she was unable to see. She recognized the voice of the policewoman who beat her, but the prosecutor refused to write it down. Her lawyer attempted to show the prosecutor a video of Zainab's arrest, but he refused to see it. The policewoman came to the prosecutor with bandaged arm claiming Masooma and Zainab hit her. Zainab refused to sign the statement unless the name of the policewoman who hit was written down."

Zainab's father and husband are both in prison already. My usual disclosure: Zainab was in my "Medieval Islamic Civilizations" course at Beloit College, and my interest in this case is therefore not meant to belittle other activists around the Middle East. Her Twitter feed, however, is an excellent source for Bahrain's ongoing protest movement.



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