Published for First Time: Video of Zainab Al-Khawajas Arrest from Jaw Prison in August 2014 Proves Invalidity of Prosecutions Claims

2015-09-14 - 9:17 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A video recorded by the Bahraini security forces shows the arrest of activist Zainab Al-Khawaja from Jaw prison in August 2014. It shows the members of security forces taking her out by force without any reaction from her against them, contrary to the claims of both Bahrain's Ministry of Interior and Public Prosecution saying that she insulted the policewomen.

Despite the clear content of the footage, the prosecution submitted the video, which is being posted for the first time, to court as convicting evidence against Al-Khawaja. The court, for its part, convicted Al-Khawaja and sentenced her to 9 months in prison.

The court of appeals will issue its verdict on Sunday (September 13, 2015) regarding three different sentences handed down to Al-Khawaja, including the verdict issued against her on June 2 sentencing her to 9 months in prison over charges of "entering a restricted area in Jaw prison and insulting a public officer".

The security authorities arrested activist Zainab Al-Khawaja at Jaw Central Prison on August 28, 2014 and took her outside by force although she was pregnant at that time. Zainab went to Jaw Prison to check on her father Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's health who was on a hunger strike at that time, after she received information that he fainted. Zainab was released after hours of her arrest.

The prosecution claimed in an official statement that Al-Khawaja entered the reform and rehabilitation center by force, without being authorized to do so. She took advantage of being a female since the guard can't prevent her from entering. The policewomen were called in and asked her to leave the place, since it's a restricted area, and thus she insulted them.

The prosecution also claimed that its narrative was proven "by the video recorded by the security surveillance cameras," which contradicts with the recording that Bahrain Mirror has received and is publishing for the very first time.

The video recorded on August 28, 2014 shows the activist "Zainab Al-Khawaja" sitting in front of one the reception buildings in Jaw Central Prison without making any move or sound. A few seconds later, one security officer wearing civilian clothes approaches her but she pays him no attention.

A policewoman approached Zainab asking the latter to trust her and leave the place. Zainab refused the policewoman's orders saying that she does not trust the Bahraini security forces "who represent the Bahraini government that tortured her father, uncle, husband and her sister's husband," and that she came to see her father and check on him.

The video also shows a person who introduced himself as the prisons' director "Nasser" and asked the policewomen to bring a doctor or nurse to see whether Zainab is in fact pregnant and then said: "If she is pregnant, she will bear the legal responsibility."

Two policewomen then approached Al-Khawaja and tried to convince her to leave with them. She; however, refused and insisted on remaining in her place.

After several attempts, the two policewomen managed to grab both of Al-Khawaja's hands and then an officer came to handcuff her, while she uttered not a single word.

It is noteworthy that the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) proved in November 2011 that the Bahraini security forces tortured the prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja along with his brother Salah Al-Khawaja and documented what they were subjected to in details.

Arabic Issue

: Bahrain Mirror