MANAMA (dpa) – Bahraini authorities Wednesday released from prison leading pro-democracy activist and blogger, Zainab al-Khawaja, more than a month after her arrest, her lawyer said.
“She has been released without bail. It is a surprise decision,” lawyer Mohammed al-Wasati said. Al-Khawaja, a daughter of a prominent dissident, is pregnant and is expecting to give birth next month.
Her release comes as the tiny Gulf kingdom is due to elect a new parliament on Saturday.
She was arrested on October 14 allegedly for insulting the country’s ruler by tearing up his picture inside a courtroom during her appeal against judgements in other cases involving her.
Al-Khawaja was a prominent participant in the 2011 protests that demanded political reform and greater freedoms in Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority Bahrain.
The protests were eventually crushed. She has since been detained and jailed several times on multiple charges.