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The Al-Khawaja Family: Advancing Freedom in Bahrain

Freedom House honored Bahrain human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters Maryam and Zainab with its annual Freedom Award for their role in advancing freedom and democracy in Bahrain.

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كلمة مريم الخواجة في مجلس حقوق الانسان 19-9-2012 | Maryam AlKhawaja in the Human Rights Council 09/19/2012

كلمة رئيس مركز البحرين لحقوق الانسان في الجلسة الدورية 21 لحقوق الانسان في جنيف 19-9-2012...
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Zainab's letter Part 2

 

 

See:  pic.twitter.com/P4sEod3H   for download

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Human Rights Activist Maryam Al-Khawaja: 'Diplomacy is Over' with Bahrain [VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Human Rights Activist Maryam Al-Khawaja: 'Diplomacy is Over' with Bahrain [VIDEO INTERVIEW] | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Bahraini activist talks to IBTimes UK about human rights violations in the tiny Gulf kingdom...

...

"As a human rights defender I believe that the king, the PM and the crown prince of Bahrain should be put on trial, albeit a fair and independent trial under international standards," she said.

"If the Bahraini judiciary cannot provide that, then it should be the ICC. They need to be put on trial, and if found guilty of crimes they have committed during the past year and a half, then they need to serve time behind bars."

The 25-year-old activist slammed the Bahraini government's claims that significant reforms had taken place in the kingdom.

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Bahrain is Britain’s shame | Index on Censorship

Bahrain is Britain’s shame | Index on Censorship | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Today at the Houses of Parliament, Maryam al-Khawaja asked MPs to put pressure on Bahrain to commit to reforms and free politcal prisoners, including her father and sister. Here, the prominent human rights defender denounces Britain’s indifference

When confronted with the facts of its own brutal crackdown on popular protests and human rights defenders, Bahraini officials usually stick to a routine. They hide behind tired lines of denial and hype supposed reforms. The actual situation on the ground continues to deteriorate — and inaction from the international community has emboldened the government. Most astounding is the silence from one of Bahrain’s greatest allies: the United Kingdom. ....

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Danish Foreign policy officials petition for the release of AlKhawaja

Foreign Policy Committee
Parliament of Denmark
Christiansborg
DK-1240 København K


Open letter to his Majesty, King Hamad of Bahrain,                  

 4. september 2012


We, members of the Parliamentary Danish Foreign Policy Committee, have written this letter to voice our deepest concerns about the
Bahraini legal authorities’ treatment of the Danish nationals Zainab
al-Khawaja and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.
We firmly firm believe that Zainab al-Khawaja and Abdulhadi alKhawaja have been wrongfully imprisoned while merely using their
inalienable right to freedom of speech and that the charges against
them should be dropped.
We welcome the Cherif Bassiouni report and applaud its critical reflections about the events in Bahrain. In particular we welcome the
report’s recommendation to “To review convictions and commute sentences
of all persons charged with offences involving political expression, not consisting of
advocacy of violence, or, as the case may be, to drop outstanding charges against
them.”
However, we are extremely disappointed that the judicial panel’s review of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja sentence did not result in his unconditional release. We urge his Majesty to use his power to pardon Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.
Further still, we noted with great concern the findings in Cherif Bassiouni report concerning Bahraini officials use of "excessive force"
and that many detainees were subjected to "physical and psychological torture", including being blindfolded, whipped, kicked, given
electric shocks and threatened with rape to extract confessions.
We insist that the basic human rights of all prisoners in Bahrain, including Mr. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, are to be respected and that any 2/2
prior abuse will be subjected to investigations with legal repercussions to the perpetrators.
Sincerely,


Mr. Jeppe Kofod, MP (The Social Democratic Party)
Chairman of the Danish Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Social Democratic Party


Mr. Per Stig Møller, MP (The Conservative Party)
Chairman of the Danish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Conservative Party


Mr. Rasmus Helveg, MP (The Danish Social-Liberal Party)
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Danish Social-Liberal Party


Mr. Søren Espersen, MP (The Danish People’s Party)
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Danish People’s Party


Mr. Christian Juhl, MP (The Red-Green Alliance)
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Red-Green Alliance


Ms. Mette Bock, MP (The Liberal Alliance)
Foreign Affairs spokeswoman for The Liberal Alliance


Mr. Holger K. Nielsen, MP (The Socialist People’s Party)
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Socialist People’s Party


Mr. Søren Pind, MP (The Liberal Party of Denmark)
Foreign Affairs spokesman for The Liberal Party of Denmark

 

http://multimedia.pol.dk/archive/00675/Folketingets_brev_t_675125a.pdf

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Sept 4. Bahraini Court Verdicts Could Be Transformative | Human Rights First

Sept 4. Bahraini Court Verdicts Could Be Transformative | Human Rights First | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Washington, DC – Human Rights First today said that expected Sept. 4 verdicts in three closely watched Bahraini court cases could make Tuesday a potentially transformative day for human rights in the Kingdom. Among those who will learn their fate on Tuesday are 13 leading dissidents, 28 medics and Zianab Al Khawaja, all prosecuted for exposing the truth behind the Bahrain regime’s false claims of reform.
“It’s hard to remember a day that could – if the right decisions are made – change the human rights picture so radically in Bahrain, “said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “If the Bahrain regime has the vision and courage to release these people it could be a game changer.”
Appeal verdicts are expected in the cases of 13 of Bahrain’s most prominent dissidents who, after a show trial in military court, were originally sentenced in June 2011 to terms of between two years and life in prison. That group includes leading human rights activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, as well as Hassan Mshaima’, ‘Abdelwahab Hussain, Dr ‘Abdel-Jalil al-Singace, Mohammad Habib al-Miqdad, Abdel-Jalil al-Miqdad, Sa’eed Mirza al-Nuri, Mohammad Hassan Jawwad, Mohammad ‘Ali Ridha Isma’il, Abdullah al-Mahroos, ‘Abdul-Hadi ‘Abdullah Hassan al-Mukhodher, Ebrahim Sharif, Salah ‘Abdullah Hubail al-Khawaja.. The men were convicted of various charges, including “setting up terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution.” In May 2011, Dooley was denied entry at the courtroom when he arrived to observe the 13 men’s military trial. ...

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Bahraini rights activist Al-Khawaja banned from entering Egypt - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

Bahraini rights activist Al-Khawaja banned from entering Egypt - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

[She wins International awards alogside her family and is spontaneously denied entry into Egypt.....HMMMMM!  All  this as Morsi pushes Egypt into dictatorship!  ]

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BAHRAIN: Ongoing arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment of human rights defenders

BAHRAIN: Ongoing arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment of human rights defenders | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...The Observatory is deeply concerned about this new postponement, as its only aim seems to be to keep Mr. Nabeel Rajab in detention as long as possible, by delaying the examination of the request filed by his lawyers against his 3-month imprisonment sentence. The Observatory reiterates its call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him as his detention is arbitrary and only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities.

The Observatory firmly denounces these new developments against human rights activities in Bahrain, and recalls the authorities’ obligation to comply with the international human rights instruments ratified by the Kingdom of Bahrain, and with the 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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'Freedom is not an option'

'Freedom is not an option' | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

And its corollary:   'Freedom is a natural right!'

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Bahrain disperses protesters, arrests activist's daughter

Bahrain disperses protesters, arrests activist's daughter | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The daughter of a prominent Bahraini opposition activist and 40 other people were arrested early on Friday, hours after security forces used tear gas and birdshot to disperse hundreds of protesters demanding political reforms, activists said.
At least 45 people were injured in the security forces' operation to break up the three separate protests across the Gulf Arab island kingdom late on Thursday, they said. ....

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Zainab AlKhawaja's arrest as recounted by her mother......

Zainab AlKhawaja's arrest as recounted by her mother...... | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahrain This is how my daughter Zainab was taken from Budaya Police Station to Isa Town Police Station.

Zainab says: the officer came in the room and there was a camera. He was acting well and asked her if she wanted water .. then he tirned off the camera and starting shouting swearing at her using very bad language. Zainab said to him: You have bad manners. She said: we are all human beings, and if you will continue talking to me like this i will leave the room. He continued swearing. She left the room. The Head of the station came when the police women were trying to take her back to the room. He asked them to take her to Westa police station. She said she will leave with them after they give her the name of the former officer. He said to her that she can complain at the prosecution office. She said: 'but they will ask me for the name'. He said to her will you will leave or  I will deal with you my way. She said: Are you threatening me? Here entered the other officer, and he started swearing at her again, this time in front of the others. She was sitting on a chair. One of the policewomen asked: should we carry her with the chair? Another policewoman answered: Why is she a princess? Lets sweep the floor with her. They handcuffed her and starting dragging her from the office on her back, down the stairs and outside the station to the police car. The policewoman asked the officer  what should they do if she refuses to give blood at the clinic before the detention. The officer said: 'give her an injection in the neck.' At the Qalaa they put her in a wheel chair.Took blood while she was handcuffed. and then she was taken to the Westa police station.

It makes me sad telling this story about Zainab when she is also injured.  But at the same time,  I am proud of her because she knows her rights and this makes them angry. I Love you, Zainab,  

--Mama.

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EA WorldView - Home - Bahrain Exclusive: An Interview with Maryam Alkhawaja 

EA WorldView - Home - Bahrain Exclusive: An Interview with Maryam Alkhawaja  | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Maryam Al-Khawaja is the Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the head of the international office of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR). She is the daughter of prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, a former head of BCHR, who was given a life sentence soon after last year's outbreak of mass protests. She's also the sister of Zainab Al-Khawaja, another prominent Bahraini human rights activist.

 

JS: Do you think Ramadan will be used as an excuse for the government to widen their crackdown on protesters and human rights defenders? And that's why Nabeel has been removed from the scene?

 

[Maryam Al-Khawaja]: They don't use it as an "excuse", although it may be the unspoken reason. It really has everything to do with the international response. It's not a coincidence that in January the regime was a lot more careful with Nabeel. When he was hit, the [US] State Department immediately released a statement. Representatives from the embassy visited him at home.

Now he gets arrested, imprisoned for periods [weeks] at a time, and yet nothing from the State Department; nothing from the US administration. The situation right now as it is is that Nabeel is in prison, possibly for a little more than two months; Zainab Alkhawaja, who is also one of the most active activists, is unable to walk without crutches for at least six weeks afer she was directly targeted and shot in the leg at close range, which not only shattered her thigh bone, but removed all skin and tore the muscle. Removing two of the most well-known activists from the streets at this time seems to be too convenient right before Ramadan to be a coincidence

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Al-Khawaja Family Honored for Commitment to Freedom | Freedom House

Al-Khawaja Family Honored for Commitment to Freedom | Freedom House | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Freedom House honored Bahrain human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters Maryam and Zainab with its annual Freedom Award for their role in advancing freedom and democracy in Bahrain at its annual dinner on September 20. Maryam, who accepted the award on behalf of the family, read a moving letter from her sister and a poem from her father, both of whom are currently imprisoned. ....

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Zainab's letter Part 1

 

See:  pic.twitter.com/GpII3iT6  for download

 

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Maryam al-Khawaja asks British MPs to put pressure on Bahrain to commit to reforms and free political prisoners

Maryam al-Khawaja asks British MPs to put pressure on Bahrain to commit to reforms and free political prisoners | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Today at the Houses of Parliament, Maryam al-Khawaja asked MPs to put pressure on Bahrain to commit to reforms and free politcal prisoners, including her father and sister. Here, the prominent human rights defender denounces Britain’s indifference

When confronted with the facts of its own brutal crackdown on popular protests and human rights defenders, Bahraini officials usually stick to a routine. They hide behind tired lines of denial and hype supposed reforms. The actual situation on the ground continues to deteriorate — and inaction from the international community has emboldened the government. Most astounding is the silence from one of Bahrain’s greatest allies: the United Kingdom.

The UK government has made countless pledges to push on Bahrain to implement supposed reforms, but has yet to push forcefully on its partner where it counts. Almost a year after the Bahraini government publicly accepted the grim picture of human rights painted in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report and its recommendations, the country continues to perpetuate flagrant human rights violations.

It is more than important than ever for the United Kingdom’s legislators to question Britain’s relationship with Bahrain — and to place pressure on the government to demand real reform. Bahraini officials like Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who was a VIP guest at the London Olympics despite the numerous allegations he tortured protesters, should be shunned by British mandarins. UK legislators must also push on Bahrain to follow through on promises of transparency and accountability; many of those involved in the crimes committed in the past year and half, have either remained their positions or been promoted.

The United Kingdom’s silence places it in danger of being seen as complicit in Bahrain’s human rights abuses, particularly when the UK has a direct method of influencing Bahrain: through its economic relationship. If it doesn’t halt arms sales, the United Kingdom is ostensibly giving permission to the Bahraini government to violently silence its people. A serious commitment to human rights from the United Kingdom means that a serious conversation about economic and diplomatic sanctions is necessary and important to do.

Political prisoners jailed on trumped up charges need the United Kingdom to press on its friend on the international stage. It is shameful that the UK and the US refused to sign onto a joint-statement issued by 27 countries this year, condemning human rights violations. Despite damning evidence that continues to mount both countries have been shamefully silent on this topic — and this must change.

This isn’t about regime change, or a chaotic dialogue about political reform. It is about something very simple: human rights. Silence from such an important trade partner spells out permission, casting a shadow on the UK’s commitment to free expression and human rights. Bahrainis have started saying that the UK and USA are to Bahrain what Russia is to Syria — enablers.

 

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BBC News - Hardtalk - Maryam Al-Khawaja: 'double standards' towards human rights in Bahrain.

BBC News - Hardtalk - Maryam Al-Khawaja: 'double standards' towards human rights in Bahrain. | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja says countries such as the US and UK condone human rights violations in Bahrain.
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Further details regarding the ill-treatment of Nabeel Rajab and Zainab Al-Khawaja in prison of Bahrain

Further details regarding the ill-treatment of Nabeel Rajab and Zainab Al-Khawaja in prison of Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

 

Gulf Center for Human Rights and Bahrain Center for Human Rights express their grave concern for the information received regarding ill-treatment of detained human rights defenders Nabeel Rajab and Zainab AlKhawaja in prison of Bahrain,...

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AngryArabiya.org | Site devoted to Zainab AlKhawaja

AngryArabiya.org | Site devoted to Zainab AlKhawaja | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

WHEN UR IN CHAINS, LIVING WITH NO DIGNITY OR RIGHTS, BOWING TO CRIMINAL DICTATORS, THE FIRST STEP IS TO FORGET UR FEAR & REALIZE THAT ITS UR RIGHT.. TO BE ANGRY

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Euromedrights - Egypt: the baning of “Maryam Al-Khawaja” to enter Egypt is not by our name,

Euromedrights - Egypt: the baning of “Maryam Al-Khawaja” to enter Egypt is not by our name, | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

ANHRI denounced what was done by the security authorities at Cairo International Airport yesterday, corresponding to August 27 of the repressive and unjustified act, of detaining and preventing the Bahraini activist”Mariam El- Khawaja”, from entering Egypt due to allegation that she is on the list of persons banned from entering, with exposure to many harassments during her presence at the airport before being deported to Copenhagen.
The security authorities at Cairo airport had detained the Bahraini activist “Mariam El-Khawaja” yesterday evening upon arrival on a flight of Egypt Air coming from Beirut, during regular visit to Egypt on her way to South Africa and having examined the papers she was told that she is banned from the entering the country in accordance with the instructions of the security and without reasons, then asked her to leave the country upon her own discrete, instead of being deported to Bahrain, despite entering the country Danish passport as a Danish citizen as well as the security authorities’ attempt to sign a document (declaration) she does not know its content. ...

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Bahrain: International Freedom Award For Al-Khawaja Family

Bahrain: International Freedom Award For Al-Khawaja Family | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Bahrain: International Freedom Award For Al-Khawaja Family...

 

[Congratulations all.....very much deserved!  You are an inspiration to us all,,,,thank you so much! ]

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Inside Story Americas - Interview with Maryam al-Khawaja

Inside Story Americas interviews Maryam al-Khawaja, a Bahraini human rights activist, on the continuing violations of human rights more than a year after peaceful protests began in the Gulf nation. She speaks on the US support for Bahrain's monarchy.

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Urgent Appeal: Arrest and Ill-treatment of Human Rights Defender Zainab Al-Khawaja | BCHR

Urgent Appeal: Arrest and Ill-treatment of Human Rights Defender Zainab Al-Khawaja | BCHR | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...

The BCHR and GCHR call on the Government of Bahrain to:
1. Immediately release Zainab Al-Khawaja and drop all charges against her, as it is believed that these measures have been taken against her solely due to her legitimate and peaceful work in the defense of human rights, and the exercise of freedom to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

2. Immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and activists including leading human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and GCHR/BCHR Director Nabeel Rajab.

3. Drop all charges against human rights defenders held on 'politically motivated' charges.

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

The GCHR and BCHR call your attention to the rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” in particular to Article 5 (b) which states that: “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (b)To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups;” Article 6 (c) “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” and to Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

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Arrest and Ill-treatment of Human Rights Defender Zainab Al-Khawaja : The Shia Post

Arrest and Ill-treatment of Human Rights Defender Zainab Al-Khawaja : The Shia Post | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...

The BCHR and GCHR call on the Government of Bahrain to:
1. Immediately release Zainab Al-Khawaja and drop all charges against her, as it is believed that these measures have been taken against her solely due to her legitimate and peaceful work in the defense of human rights, and the exercise of freedom to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

2. Immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and activists including leading human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and GCHR/BCHR Director Nabeel Rajab.

3. Drop all charges against human rights defenders held on ‘politically motivated’ charges.

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

The GCHR and BCHR call your attention to the rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” in particular to Article 5 (b) which states that: “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (b)To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups;” Article 6 (c) “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” and to Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5366

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Real Digital Power: Zainab Al-Khawaja

Real Digital Power: Zainab Al-Khawaja | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Arab Spring came to Bahrain in 2011, but it didn’t stay for long. After a month of encampments and violent removals at Pearl Roundabout in Manama, troops cleared the traffic circle for the last time on March 16th and tore down the Pearl Roundabout monument two days later.

But the revolution is still quietly alive, and that is largely due to fearless activists like Zainab Al-Khawaja, better known by her Twitter handle, @AngryArabia. Active both online and offline, Zainab tweets and sit-ins to challenge the Bahraini government.

Zainab’s current cause is demanding the release of her father, human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been jailed for life. Defying the term slacktivism, Zainab shows that digital activism is not for slackers or the weak-hearted.

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