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Activist in Bahrain sent to detention center for 'insulting' the king

An activist facing charges after ripping up photographs of the King of Bahrain tore up another photo during her hearing Wednesday, and was immediately detained.

As soon as Zainab al-Khawaja ripped the monarch's picture and placed it in front of the judge, the hearing was adjourned and she was arrested, Human Rights Watch reports. She was ordered to a detention center for seven days, on charges of insulting the king. "It says much about the state of the justice system in Bahrain that you're more likely to end up in jail for ripping up a photo than you are for shooting an unarmed protestor," Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, told The Associated Press.

Al-Khawaja is eight months pregnant, and was released from prison in February after serving close to a year for participating in illegal protests and insulting police officers. During her hearing Wednesday, Amnesty International reports, she stated: "I am the daughter of a proud and free man. My mother brought me into this world free, and I will give birth to a free baby boy even if it is inside our prisons."

Al-Khawaja comes from a family of activists; her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is serving a life sentence for participating in 2011 protests against the government, while her sister, Maryam al-Khawaja, is on trial for assaulting a police officer who questioned her at the airport (she says she is innocent). If Zainab al-Khawaja is convicted, she could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $26,500.