25 April 2012 URGENT ACTION

Bahraini activist Zainab A l-Khawaja was arrested on 21 April for protesting against the detention of her father, who has been on hunger strike for over two months. Amnesty International is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

Zainab A l-Khawaja is a Bahraini activist and the daughter of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, one of the 14 prominent opposition activists sentenced by a military court to harsh prison terms in June 2011. He has been on hunger strike for more than two months in protest against his detention. Zainab Al-Khawaja was detained on 21 April after sitting down on a highway close to the Financial Harbour in protest at her father’s ongoing detention and the general human rights situation in Bahrain. She has been formally charged with disrupting the traffic and insulting an officer.

On the evening of 23 April her detention was renewed for another seven days pending an investigation and she is expected to have a hearing before a lower criminal court in a week. She is currently held at the women’s detention centre in ‘Issa Town, south of Manama. She has managed to speak twice with her family for only a couple of minutes and her lawyer was present when she went before the Public Prosecution Office on 23 April. She refused to sign any papers or give any information.

Zainab Al-Khawaja has previously been detained for a few days for protesting in December 2011 and February 2012, and on both occasions was released shortly after.

Please write immediately in English or Arabic:

* Expressing concern that Zainab Al-Khawaja has been detained solely for exercising her rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and urging her immediate and unconditional release;

* Urging the Bahraini authorities to protect her from torture or other ill-treatment.


King Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa Office of His Majesty the King P.O. Box 555 Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain Fax: + 973 1766 4587 Salutation: Your Majesty

Minister of Interior Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa Ministry of Interior P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain Fax: +973 1723 2661 Website: http://www.interior.gov.bh/complaints_en.aspx Twitter: @moi_Bahrain Salutation: Your Excellency

Public Prosecutor Mr ‘Ali al-Bu’ainein Public Prosecution Office P.O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain Fax: +973 1753 0884 Salutation: Dear Mr ‘Ali al-Bu’ainein,


Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, 52, is serving a life sentence for his role in anti-government protests last year. He began his hunger strike on 8 February, and his health has deteriorated dramatically since he decided on around 29 March to start reducing the doses of glucose and minerals he was taking until he was drinking water only. For more information, see UA 139/11, Hunger striking activist’s health failing (http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE11/023/2012/en). Name: Zainab Al-Khawaja Gender m/f: Female UA: 117/12 Index: MDE 11/026/2012 Issue Date: 25 April 2012