DUBAI (Reuters) – For Bahraini activist Maryam al-Khawaja, who lives in self-imposed exile in Kansas City, the pandemic at least had a silver lining. Authorities at home allowed her to speak to her jailed father online because personal prison visits were banned.
“I had the chance to see his face for the first time since 2014,” she told Reuters.
It was an unexpected moment of joy, yet also a reminder of the toll Bahrain’s uprising 10 years ago has taken on her family.
Her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is former president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights who is now serving a life sentence for his role in Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement.
As so-called “Arab Spring” protests swept Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria a decade ago, Bahrain was the only Gulf country to see mass upheaval.
Tens of thousands took to the streets to demand reforms. Violence spread as members of the Shi’ite Muslim majority rose up against the Sunni royal family. Martial law was declared, and, with the help of…
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