Al-Khawaja and Others Given Retrial in Civilian Court
The Court of Cassation, Bahrain’s highest court, ordered a retrial in a civil court in the cases of 21 opposition activists – including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. U.K.’s foreign office welcomed the decision said in its statement, “we urge the courts to move this forward urgently, with due process and transparency.” However, Khadija al-Mousawi, the wife of al-Khawaja, told Al Jazeera after the court ruling that this should not be considered a victory. “This is not a victory, so I am very surprised people are claiming it as so,” she said, referring to the fact that the activists were still in jail. In an interview with the BBC, al-Mousawi said she was able to see her husband yesterday. She said he had been drugged and force fed, and added, “[he is] ready to lose. He can’t live in a cage.” Their daughter, Maryam al-Khawaja, did not welcome the court order either, attributing the decision to another “delaying tactic.”
Zainab al-Khawaja remains in jail, and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Ana Gomes was denied entry into Manama after telling authorities her contact for her stay in the country was Zainab. ”This is one more reason why EU governments and the high representative have to clearly send (Bahraini authorities) a very loud message that they are accountable for these human rights activists that are detained and were being tortured,” she said.
The Congressional Research Service released a report titled, “Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy.” The report gives an overview of the political milestones that led to the discontent that fueled the February 14 uprising last year, and explores the different facets of U.S. foreign policy with Bahrain.