On August 30th, Bahrain arrested Bahraini human rights defender Maryam al-Khawaja. She will stand trial today, September 6th, for allegedly attacking a policewoman. Maryam is one of around 4,000 political prisoners in the country.
In February 2011, Bahrain began its own “Arab Spring” when more than half the population began to protest government repression, corruption, and inequality. The protests were met with a violent crack-down resulting in dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries, and thousands of arrests. Following the initial crack-down the government began targeting anyone who dared dissent through arrests, house raids, military trials, arbitrary detention, and even extrajudicial killing.
Below are photos from an emergency protest for Maryam and all political prisoners in Bahrain. Bahrain and the United States have long been close allies, as Bahrain hosts a primary US military base in the region – Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain – home of the fifth Fleet. It is time to put pressure on the US government to stop ignoring Bahraini human rights violations.