Bahrain police rough up, arrest blogger at demo
A police officer drags Zaynab al-Khawaja after handcuffing her. REUTERS photoBahraini police have arrested prominent Bahraini blogger and human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, according to a rights group and video posted online of her being roughed up, handcuffed and dragged off into custody.
Al-Khawaja had been taking part in a sit-in protest on a highway leading to the capital Manama when police moved in to detain her Dec. 15, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said in a statement. She is a daughter of Bahrain’s most prominent political activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who was imprisoned for life along with seven other Bahraini opposition leaders in June.
Security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protest of hundreds of Bahrainis, while al-Khawaja and other women staged a sit-in on a roundabout, said the organization. Al-Khawaja was seen sitting on the grass before police moved in to take her away, the video footage posted on YouTube showed. While all other women fled the scene, al-Khawaja remained sitting in the middle of the roundabout. The footage showed her being handcuffed by a female policewoman.
Another security force appears to grab al-Khawaja’s face violently, before both dragged her with the handcuffs to a police vehicle. The Interior Ministry said the protester arrested near the mall had “attacked one of the policewomen.”
Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.