Bahrain: Zainab Alkhawaja's trial postponed until May 2

The trial of prominent activist Zainab al-Khawaja has been postponed to May 2 , her sister and also activist Maryam Alkhawaja reports on Monday. She is accused of assaulting an officer, obstructing traffic and swearing at a member of the military. The daughter of hunger striker Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for 82 days, was arrested on April 21 after she tried to stage a protest in the capital of Manama. Zainab, also known as @angryarabiya on Twitter, will remain in detention until her next hearing. She was allowed a visit on Sunday during which she told her family that she had been beaten and kicked during her arrest by female officers. Human Rights Watch published a report on Sunday in which it claims that Bahrain’s police are beating and torturing detainees, including minors, despite public commitments to end torture and police violence. They interviewed 14 young males, including 7 children, who said police had beaten them severely while arresting them for participating in public protests and while taking them to a police station. HRW notes that the beatings took place after the release of the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in November 2011 which set out recommendations for the Bahraini regime to implement and put an end to ill-treatment and torture. As to Zainab's father, founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, a Bahraini appeal court ordered the retrial of his case along with 20 other activists. "The court is [ordering] that the trial take place again and that testimony from prosecution and defence witnesses be heard once more as if it is a new trial," BNA, the official news agency, said. His family was allowed to visit him on Sunday. His daughter said "he had been drugged, tied to the bed, forcibly fed with a nasoenteric tube". Al-Khawaja's family had not been allowed to see or speak with Alkhawaja since Monday. On Friday a report published by the pro-regime Gulf Daily News suggested that the rights activist was being force-fed. Al-Khawaja was arrested last year during the month-long uprising and condemned to a life sentence for participating in the protests.

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