A Bahraini court has sentenced a pro-democracy activist to two months imprisonment for ripping a poster of the king.
Zainab Al-Khawaja, a prominent pro-democracy activist and daughter of the imprisoned activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, was found guilty on Wednesday of destroying government property; a poster of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.
Imprisoned since 2 August, Al-Khawaja should be released on 2 October, but her sister Maryam expressed doubt as to whether she would be released then.
According to BBC, Al-Khawaja’s lawyer hoped she would be released soon but admitted the sentence was unusually harsh for the offence. Her lawyer Mohamad Al-Jishi said such offences are usually punished by a fine.
Al-Khawaja has eight other charges pending according to Al-Jishi, with three of them currently in progress. She is being retried for allegedly insulting an officer in a military hospital after prosecutors appealed her initial acquittal in May.
In a second trial she faces charges relating to illegal gathering and inciting hatred against the regime and in a third she is charged with obstruction of traffic.
Her father Abdulhadi is already serving a life sentence after being found guilty of plotting to overthrow the state, following his involvement in protests last year. He was arrested in April 2011 during the regime’s crackdown on the pro-democracy protests.
Earlier this month the family appealed for his release, but was denied. Abdulhadi was the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and held several key positions in international non-governmental organisations involved in human rights such as Front Line Defenders. His other daughter Maryam is the current acting president of BCHR and is actively involved in documenting human rights abuses.