Friday, September 28, 2012

Daughter of Bahrain opposition leader sentenced

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) ? The daughter of a jailed rights activist in Bahrain was sentenced Wednesday to two months in prison for damaging property at the police station, including tearing a picture of the Gulf nation's king, officials said.

Rights groups denounced the court's decision. They accused authorities in the tiny, but strategically important Gulf kingdom of escalating crackdowns on protesters from the Shiite majority, which is seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation.

More than 50 people have died in the unrest since February 2011 in Bahrain, the host of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

A statement from Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority said Zainab al-Khawaja would complete the sentence within a week because of time served awaiting trial. She will remain detained for other "more serious charges," the statement said.

Al-Khawaja's defense lawyer, Mohammad al-Jishi, said the other charges are related to anti-government protests and alleged illegal gatherings.

Al-Khawaja's father, Abdulhadi, is among eight opposition figures, who were convicted of anti-state crimes last year and were sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the Shiite-led uprising that was inspired by other Arab Spring protests against authoritarian regimes in the region. He staged a 110-day hunger strike earlier this year in protest.


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