Last week, Bahraini authorities wrongfully detained humanrights activist Zainab al-Khawaja,while she engaged in nonviolent, peaceful protest against Bahraini governmentpolicies. As this video shows, Zainab was dragged away by law enforcement officers who, according to Amnesty Internationalallegedly beat her outside the view of cameras before taking her into custodyagainst her will.
Zainab’s violent arrest shows that Bahraini authorities havenot 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 otherserious human rights violations against the citizens of Bahrain. If the King Al Khalifa is serious aboutaddressing allegations of these severe rights abuses, his government must stoplocking up and beating its citizenry.
While Zainab has been released on bail,Bahrain has not dropped the politically motivated charges against her. Andwhile Zainab’s release may be encouraging, Zainab’s husband and father – alsohuman rights activists – remain imprisoned and have been allegedly torturedfor their pro-democracy activism.
King Al Khalifa: Drop the bogus charges against Zainab andhonor your pledge to improve the human rights situation in your Kingdom.