As I write this the dedicated human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is lying, close to unconscious, in Bahrain’s Military Hospital. Unless the Bahrain authorities act quickly it is highly likely that he will die there. His journey to this point is perhaps not what you would expect. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is here because he is willing to die for his freedom.
Arrested last year for his role in anti-government protests, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was tried before a military court and sentenced to life imprisonment. He is thought to have been severely tortured both before and after this unfair trial. Stuck inside a system that has consistently denied him justice, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja turned to one of the few freedoms left to him: he began a hunger strike on 8 February. He has not eaten since.
Over two months later and he is alleged to be slipping into a coma. Despite this, the authorities refuse to let his family or lawyer visit him.
In the blog below his wife recalls the night of Abdulhadi’s arrest and the terror that has followed. She wrote it in September for the Amnesty livewire blog, before he started this hunger strike, but it speaks volumes of their love, and of the destructive force of government oppression.
Please send an appeal to the Bahrain authorities now demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and the 13 other prisoners of conscience in Bahrain. All were imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
Sign in to leave a comment
Don't have an account? Create one now.