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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Bahrain to release female activist with toddler: ministry

AFP , Monday 9 May 2016
Zainab al-Khawaja
Bahrain opposition activist Zainab al-Khawaja (File Photo: Reuters)
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Bahrain's foreign ministry said Monday that jailed opposition activist Zainab al-Khawaja who is in jail with her toddler will be released for "humanitarian" reasons.

The Shia mother was jailed in March after being convicted of insulting the king by ripping a photograph of him. She kept her son, who is reportedly just over one year old, with her in jail.

The foreign ministry said Khawaja's release will be the result of its follow up on the situation of inmates with foreign citizenship held in "criminal cases."

Zainab, who was sentenced to three years in prison in December 2014, is the daughter of prominent rights activists Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and also holds Danish nationality.

Another foreign female inmate, whose nationality has not been revealed, will also be released along with her four-year-old son, the ministry said.

"It has been decided that both of them will be released... taking into consideration their situation and humanitarian principles," the ministry said in a statement.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said during a press briefing last month with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry that Khawaja will go home.

Tiny but strategic Bahrain, home base of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, remains deeply divided after authorities crushed a month-old, Shia-led uprising in March 2011.

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