Woman Gets Year in Jail for Ripping Up King's Photo

Human rights activist found guilty of 'insulting' Bahrain's King Hamad
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2015 12:46 PM CDT
Woman Gets Year in Jail for Ripping Up King's Photo
In this photo takenSept. 6, 2014, Bahraini opposition activist Zainab al-Khawaja waits to hear about her detained sister outside the court in Manama, Bahrain.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

The daughter of a well-known Bahraini human rights activist was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail for delivering the ultimate insult to her country's king: ripping up a picture of him, Reuters reports. Zainab al-Khawaja, 32, lost her appeal on a conviction for tearing up a photo of King Hamad during an October 2014 court appearance, Amnesty International USA notes. "It is ludicrous that Zainab Al-Khawaja is facing a year in prison simply for tearing up a photo of the head of state," an Amnesty International director says in the release. "She should not be punished in any way for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression."

The mother of two, who Reuters notes also has to pay an almost $8,000 fine or face an additional year and a half behind bars, intends to bring her infant son into prison with her if she's made to go, her family informs Amnesty. Khawaja is the daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who's serving a life sentence for taking part in pro-democracy protests in 2011. (More Bahrain stories.)

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