Bahraini human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja was sentenced on 25 June to two additional months in jail on charges of assaulting two policewomen inside the prison. She is in detention in Hoora Detention Centre, wjhere she was serving three previous sentences for taking part in an illegal gathering, unlawful entry to Pearl Roundabout, and insulting a police officer. She was due to be released at the end of 2013, but the new sentence means she will remain in detention until February 2014.
Zainab Al-Khawaja who is also a blogger, has been active in calling for political reform and democracy in Bahrain. She has been campaigning since April 2011 for the release of her father, Mr Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, a prominent human rights defender and former Front Line Defenders Protection Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa.
Zainab Al-Khawaja was charged with assaulting the policewomen inside the prison, after she tried to defend a fellow prisoner from the actions of the police officers. The court rejected the defence lawyer’s request to obtain CCTV footage from the prison authorities, which coudl have proven her innocence.