Maryam Al-Khawaja released from detention but charges remains
The prominent human rights defender, Maryam Al-Khawaja, was arrested in Bahrain on 30 August. On 18 September, she was released from detention but the charges against her remains and she is banned from leaving the country.
Despite the positive news that Maryam is released it is worrying that the Government of Bahrain has not yet dropped the charges against her and that they have imposed travel restrictions on her. Maryam was denied entry to the country and arrested at the Manama airport on 30 August. The Bahraini authorities accused her of assaulting a police officer and insulting the king on social media and revoked her Bahraini identification.
Maryam’s arrest generated a lot of international attention and together with 154 other international civil society organisations Civil Rights Defenders sent a joint letter to the Bahraini King Hamad on 18 September urging him to release Maryam and drop all charges against her. On the evening of 18 September she was released and tweeted;
”If the international community could secure my release that gives me hope that we can do the same for thousands of political prisoners”.
Maryam, returned to Bahrain from exile to visit her imprisoned father the human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is serving a life sentence determined in 2011. Abdulhadi’s began a hunger strike on 25 August and his health has greatly deteriorated since then.
Maryam Al-Khawaja is Co-Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organisation that works to provide support and protection to human rights defenders in the Gulf region by promoting the role of the media and networking with international organisations.
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