UPDATE: Bahrain: The main case against Ghada Jamsheer has been dismissed

WLUML has learned that the main case against women's rights activist Ghada Jamsheer has been dropped on the grounds that it was illegally brought against her by the Public Prosecution.
According to a news report on 27 June 2005 in The Gulf Daily News, the High Criminal Court ruled that the Public Prosecution acted illegally when it pushed the cases against her to court in 2005, years after they should have been heard. The defamation accusations by three Sharia judges were brought against Ms Jamsheer in 2001, 2002 and 2003 but went to court in 2005.
The law states that the cases should be taken to court by the Public Prosecution within three months of the incidents and these dates were long past, said Ms Jamsheer's lawyer Mohammed Al Mutawa said.

This brings to an end the main case against Ms Jamsheer, which could have theoretically put her in jail for up to 15 years.

She was accused of defaming the judges in the media, distributing publications which are claimed to be illegal and also calling a judge and swearing at him on the phone, all of which she denied.

She was said to have called the judges backward, corrupt and careless.

Ms Jamsheer previously said in court that she was being victimised by the Public Prosecution because she had called for the resignation of its head, Shaikh Abdul Rahman bin Jaber Al Khalifa, at a recent demonstration.

She questioned why the cases were being brought against her now, years after they were first filed.

Meanwhile, the First Criminal Court will issue a judgement tomorrow in another case against Ms Jamsheer in which she is accused of verbally abusing the husband of a woman she supported in a custody battle.

The case was filed by the husband of Badriya Rabea, who alleges that Ms Jamsheer called him an unfit husband and father in an abusive way.

She denies the charges.

She will stand trial in yet another case on October 5, also at the First Criminal Court, for one of the same charges that she faced in the case that was just dismissed.

She is accused of the same incident of calling a judge and swearing at him on the phone.

Mr Al Mutawa says he believes that the case was taken to two different courts in an administrative error.

Meanwhile, Ms Jamsheer will sign copies of her new book The Executioner and the Victim in Sharia Courts at Al Riwaq Gallery in Adliya on Wednesday.

The 400-page book chronicles her struggle and that of the Women's Petition Committee, which she leads, in campaigning for a personal status law in Bahrain.

It includes pictures of the committee's various demonstrations and meetings with officials and judges.

It also highlights specific cases of women who Ms Jamsheer says have been victimised by the courts.

The book is currently available only in Arabic, but will be translated into English and French soon.

The Women's Petition Committee, a network of activists demanding the codification of Bahrain's family laws and the reform of its family courts.

For the past four years, Ms Jamsheer has organised protests, vigils and a hunger strike in an effort to draw attention to the suffering of women in the existing family court system.

© Gulf Daily News