Zainab Al-Khawaja: Spreading Awareness of the Uprising in Bahrain
By Sam Quatromoni
On April 5, 2012, Bahraini police arrested Zainab Al-Khawaja––yet again–– for protesting her father’s unjust imprisonment, outside the Interior Ministry. Throughout the uprising in Bahrain, the blogger and activist has shined a bright light on abuses committed by the Bahraini regime. Through her blog and twitter account, @angryarabiya, Zainab spreads awareness of the situation in Bahrain and seeks support for the Bahraini people.
She is the daughter of prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja. Currently serving a life sentence in prison, on April 6, Adulhadi marked the 58th day of his hunger strike to protest his controversial sentence. The government has transferred him to a military hospital because of his critical, rapidly deteriorating health.
Zainab and her sister, the human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja, have continued the work their father began with the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Together they call international attention to the cases of political prisoners and ongoing repression in Bahrain.
In addition to digital activism, Zainab leads protests on the ground. In December 2011, video surfaced of Zainab passively resisting arrest as police handcuffed and dragged her away for taking part in a peaceful sit-in. In February 2012, the Bahraini police arrested and detained her for seven days, for participating in a protest march marking the one-year anniversary of Bahrain’s uprising. Now, she is in prison again.
Despite her arrests, her activism continues unabated. She will advocate for change in Bahrain until the moment it occurs.