Bahraini human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja should be celebrating her 32nd birthday on 21 October. Instead, on this day, Zainab could be taken to jail to serve combined prison sentences of over five years for tearing up a picture of the King during a court hearing in 2014, and for allegedly insulting a police officer, along with other charges.
After tearing the King's picture, Zainab (@AngryArabiya) tweeted this statement to her thousands of supporters around the world:
Ripping his pic is a 1st step to let him know that we r not afraid, that we are determined to gain our rights, to live as free ppl #Bahrain
She has also thanked supporters on twitter, saying:
“My love and respect to all the people of Bahrain who continue to sacrifice every day so that someday our children can be free. And thank you to all those who stand up and speak out on behalf of the people of Bahrain. You restore our faith in humanity.”
For her birthday, tell Zainab that you support her fight for the right to freedom of expression by:
- Participating in the Gulf Center for Human Right’s Thunderclap campaign to flood the twitter-sphere with birthday wishes on 21 October, along with messages proclaiming that tearing a photo is #NotaCrime and calling for Zainab’s conviction to be quashed.
- Tweeting a personal message or photo to @GulfCentre4HR with the hashtags #NotaCrime and #HappyBirthdayZainab.
Zainab is a mother to two young children. If she goes to jail, she will be accompanied by her infant son, which is not an uncommon practice when women human rights defenders are jailed in Bahrain.
For more information, click here.