‘Prisoner of conscience’: Free Bahraini mother convicted for human rights work, demands Amnesty

© Hamad I Mohammed
Bahraini authorities are facing demands to release a human rights campaigner convicted of destroying a picture of the King of Bahrain and attempting to visit her father in prison.

A fleet of 15 police jeeps descended upon the Zainab Al-Khawaja neighborhood, closed down the street where she lives, and arrested her in her home on Monday, according to Amnesty International UK.

Al-Khawaja has been a prominent human rights campaigner in Bahrain since the 2011 Arab Spring. She faces a sentence of three years and a month. She has already spent 18 months in prison.

Last month, human rights groups accused the British government of “whitewashing” Bahrain’s human rights abuses. 

Speaking to RT in late February, ex-Bahraini MP Jalal Fairooz said Westminster views the regime in Bahrain as a project, and wishes to ensure its so-called success.

“Unfortunately, that requires lots of whitewashing and making fake presentations,” Fairooz said.

“Actually, the UK says that it has even advisers helping the Bahrainis to raise the standards of human rights in Bahrain. But what is happening is on the contrary.”

Fairooz said Britain’s strategic ties are actually strengthening after a Bahraini-funded British naval base was established there, suggesting a thriving trade in arms helps cement this special relationship.

RT asked the FCO on Tuesday whether it agrees with Fairooz’s claims, but it is yet to respond.