Prominent Bahraini activist Zainab Al Khawaja, released from prison in May on humanitarian grounds, has reportedly fled to Denmark amid alleged imprisonment threats from the government.
The 32-year-old dual citizen of Bahrain and Denmark was arrested on March 14 alongside her infant son for participating in several anti-government protests. These included taking part in the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations, tearing up a picture of Bahraini King Hamad and posting anti-regime tweets under the name AngryArabiya. She was facing a three-year prison sentence prior to her release.
“After having released me for ‘humanitarian’ reasons, the Bahraini regime was trying to throw me out of my country,” she tweeted. “They promised to re-arrest me, maybe as soon as two months after my release. But this time separating me from my baby to avoid bad press.”
Al Khawaja is the daughter of prominent Bahrain human rights activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, who is serving a life sentence for taking part in the 2011 uprisings. He is the former president and co-founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, a non-profit non-governmental organisation that promotes human rights in Bahrain.
Bahrain has arrested and stripped the citizenship of several prominent activists since the 2011 uprising.
Western allies of Bahrain, such as the United States, called for the release of Al Khawaja following media uproar generated by her Twitter account, which has about 50,000 followers.
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