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Bahrain sentences activist's daughter to jail: lawyer

December 10, 2012

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Bahraini Shia Muslims stand behind a banner reading in Arabic '' No to dictatorship'' as they take part in an anti-government rally in the village of Muqsha, west of Manama on Dec 7, 2012. — Photo by AFP

DUBAI: A Bahraini court on Monday sentenced the daughter of prominent opposition activist Hadi al-Khawaja to one month in jail for taking part in an unauthorised demonstration, her lawyer said.

Zainab al-Khawaja, the eldest of the Shia rights activist's daughters, was found guilty of entering the “prohibited area” of Pearl Square, the main symbol of 2011 protests crushed by security forces, on Feb 12, the lawyer said.

She also was fined 100 dinars ($258).

Her lawyers disputed the charges, saying there was “no formal decision declaring that Pearl Square is a forbidden area”.

Zainab al-Khawaja, whose father is serving a life sentence for plotting against the state, has faced justice on several occasions already this year.

In October, she was freed after serving a two-month jail term for destroying government property.

The judiciary accused her of tearing apart a portrait of King Hamad during detention, according to Amnesty International.

In May, she served a one-month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer.

Bahrain came under strong criticism from international human rights organisations over last year's deadly crackdown on the protests, led by the majority Shias in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

An international panel commissioned by King Hamad to probe the government's clampdown found that excessive force and torture had been used against protesters and detainees.