Jailed Bahraini Activist on Hunger Strike
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A prominent Bahraini activist jailed for life for his role in anti-regime protests has been on hunger strike for two weeks to protest the treatment of prisoners, campaigners said Thursday.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who also holds Danish citizenship, is an outspoken critic of Bahrain's Al Khalifa monarchy.
Khawaja began the hunger strike on April 12 in a Manama prison to protest the "arbitrary detention and degrading treatment of prisoners in Bahrain," the (Persian) Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) said in a statement, AFP reported.
It is the fifth such protest in six years by Khawaja, who was given a life sentence in June 2011 after being convicted of plotting to topple the monarchy.
The (P)GCHR also called for the medical evacuation of Khawaja and fellow rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who is behind bars while on trial for charges of insulting the regime.
Rajab, one of the most high-profile activists in Bahrain, underwent minor surgery earlier this month. His family has however said they remain concerned about his health.
The UN is scheduled to hold a human rights review session on Bahrain in Geneva on May 1.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country on February 14, 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifa dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
Manama has spared no effort in clamping down on dissent and rights activists. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifa regime’s crackdown on anti-regime activists.