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THE family of a political prisoner in Bahrain have rallied outside the Gulf country’s embassy in London to demand her release.
Hajer Mansoor Hassan spent her 51st birthday behind bars today amid growing concerns about her health.
— Index on Censorship (@IndexCensorship) April 9, 2019
She was arrested after her exiled son-in-law Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei blocked the King of Bahrain’s limousine as it entered Downing Street on an official visit.
The United Nations has condemned her incarceration since 2017 as an “unlawful act of reprisal.”
Her exiled family brought cakes and held pictures of Ms Hassan as a “symbolic reminder of their mother’s ongoing struggle.”
Mr Alwadaei, director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird), said: “My mother-in-law remains unlawfully imprisoned and will spend her birthday alone in a cell.
“We want to send her a message that she lives in our heart — they may take away her freedom but they cannot take away her dignity or her strength.
“She remains an inspiring figure and we will not rest until she is free.”
Bird has raised her case in Parliament on several occasions, which it says has resulted in reprisals at Isa Town women’s prison where she is being held.
Bahrain has one of the largest prison populations in the Middle East with thousands of political prisoners serving lengthy sentences for their activism against the island’s autocratic ruler King Hamad Bin Isa al Khalifa.
Britain is a close ally of the ruling family, who paid for the construction of a new Royal Navy base to harbour minesweepers in the oil-rich Gulf.
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