Bahrain releases jailed activist's daughter

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 07, 2012 1:38 PM
Bahrain releases jailed activist's daughter

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain released the daughter of a jailed activist on Saturday, having detained her during a protest calling for his release, her lawyer said, adding that the life of her father was in danger after 59 days on hunger strike.

Zainab al-Khawaja had been arrested on Thursday outside the Interior Ministry where she was taking part in a rally to demand that her father Abdulhadi be freed. The ministry said in a statement she had "assaulted a public employee".

Abdulhadi was moved to a military hospital on Friday after his health deteriorated sharply. The Khawajas' lawyer said Zainab had been questioned and then released.

"They let her go," said Mohammed al-Jishi, adding that her father was in a fragile condition, with very low blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Bahrain's state news agency BNA confirmed she had been released.

Abdulhadi is one of 14 men in prison for his role in Shi'ite Muslim-led protests that erupted last year against the Gulf Arab state's ruling Sunni elite.

More than a year on, protests still flare daily in Shi'ite areas, often descending into violence. Recent demonstrations have called for Khawaja's release and the cancellation of the Formula One Grand Prix, which Bahrain is due to host on April 20-22.

Shi'ites, a majority in Western-allied Bahrain, have demanded reforms and an end to the Sunni minority's monopoly on power. Some have called for the removal of the ruling Al Khalifa family.

(Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Andrew Roche)