Hunger striker Bahraini activist Alkhawaja in critical condition

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SHAFAQNA – A renowned human rights activist goes on hunger strike in Bahrain to protest his detention. Abdulhadi al- Khawaja, a Bahraini-Danish human rights activist, said he would refuse to eat over his continued arbitrary detention and mistreatment in prison, reports said on Wednesday. Earlier this month, the activist started a water-only hunger strike, which has left him in critical condition. Despite the severe risks he is facing, he will not stop battling for his freedom and that of other rights defenders, according to his daughter Maryam, who is also a human rights activist.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain, calling on the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power. Bahraini authorities have since arrested a number of opposition figures and activists, including al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman and prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

Prisoners of conscience

Meanwhile, Amnesty International released a statement, calling on the Al Khalifa regime to free 13 activists, including Khawaja, whom the rights group describes as prisoners of conscience. “On the fourth anniversary of the arrests of 13 leading opposition activists and other prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, Amnesty International calls for their immediate and unconditional release and urges the authorities to ensure that the rights of all prisoners, including those held in Jaw prison, are fully respected,” read the statement. Amnesty censured “lack of adequate medical treatment” and deterioration in the inamtes’ health “as a result of inadequate treatment for injuries resulting from torture”. It further called on the regime “to ensure that all prisoners have access to adequate and timely health care by independent doctors.

Source : Press TV

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