Bahrain activist Zainab al-Khawaja given jail sentence
- 26 September 2012
- From the section Middle East
A court in Bahrain has sentenced the prominent pro-democracy activist, Zainab al-Khawaja, to two months in prison.
A judicial source said she had been found guilty of destroying government property, which her lawyer said related to her ripping up a picture of the king.
The court also reportedly adjourned until October two cases - taking part in an illegal demonstration and entering a prohibited area.
Ms Khawaja has been detained several times in the past nine months.
She has been on trial several times for taking part in illegal gatherings and insulting officials, and was sentenced to a month in prison in May.
Her father, Abdulhadi, is among eight activists and opposition figures sentenced to life for allegedly plotting to overthrow the state. Earlier this month, they lost an appeal against their convictions by a military tribunal.
Following Wednesday's court ruling in Manama, Ms Khawaja's lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, said he hoped she might be released soon because she had been remanded in custody since 2 August while awaiting trial.
Mr Jishi also said the custodial sentence was harsh because the punishment for tearing up a picture of the king was typically a fine.
Later, Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority stated that Ms Khawaja would complete her sentence within a week because of time served, but that she would remain detained for other "more serious charges".
Ms Khawaja was still facing eight more charges related to participating in protests, Mr Jishi said. Three separate trials are currently under way.
The first trial is an appeal hearing relating to a charge of insulting an officer at a military hospital. She was acquitted in May, but prosecutors appealed against the verdict.
The second is examining charges of attending an illegal gathering and "inciting hatred against the regime", and the third, obstructing traffic.
Bahrain has been wracked by unrest since demonstrations in February 2011, demanding more democracy and an end to discrimination against the majority Shia Muslim community by the Sunni royal family.
At least 60 people, including several police officers, have been killed, hundreds have been injured and thousands jailed.