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Bahrain Activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja Ends Hunger Strike;
Bahrain Coordinating Committee Calls for Release
[Washington, DC] May 28, 2012 — The DC-based Bahrain Coordinating Committee applauds the sustained courage of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, the imprisoned human rights activist on trial for leading protests in Bahrain, who ended his 110-day hunger strike today, and calls for his unconditional release and the dismissal of all charges.
In a letter to his family, the activist stated the hunger strike served one of its purposes: to shed light on the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain. Although he did not attain his freedom, the second objective of his hunger strike, he felt prison officials had made it clear to him that they would force feed him again if his health deteriorated.
Khawaja commenced his hunger strike on February 8, 2012 to protest conditions of his detention, including abuse and torture while in custody. The activist was force-fed on with a naso-enteric tube in late April. The World Medical Association states that force-feeding is a form of inhumane and degrading treatment.
Khawaja, the co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, has been imprisoned for more than a year. He was arrested in April 2011 and sentenced to life in prison by the National Security Court in a martial law proceeding. The sentence was condemned by international human rights groups and several nations, and is being re-tried in the civil courts, along with the cases of twenty-one other activists.
About the Bahrain Coordinating Committee
The Bahrain Coordinating Committee is a Washington, DC-based grassroots movement that works to obtain U.S. support for democracy and human rights reforms in Bahrain. For more information, please visit http://www.BahrainCoordinatingCommittee.org
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Thanks to the Bahrain Justice and Development Movement for publicizing this event and video.
In this video, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of The UN Human Rights Council, makes an ‘unprecedented’ statement today in calling on Bahrain not to make reprisals against opposition activists, attending the Universal Periodic Review.
She states that she is aware the activists have been threatened, although not necessarily by government forces, but by third parties. The Bahrain representative denies all allegations.
Madam President Lasserre reiterates that the Council guarantees safety to all delegates attending the UPR.