Bahrain rights activist ends hunger strike

[JURIST] Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has ended his hunger strike because he believes he has adequately raised awareness of his cause [Reuters report], Al-Khawaja's wife told Reuters on Monday. Al-Khawaja has been on a hunger strike for over three months to protest the imprisonment of Bahraini pro-democracy demonstrators, including himself. He was sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] by a military tribunal in June 2011. In late April of this year, a Bahrain appeals court ruled that Al-Khawaja and 20 others should be retried in a civilian chamber [JURIST report], but they must stay incarcerated pending a new verdict. Al-Khawaja will consent to medical treatment to assist in his recovery. He will not attend a retrial hearing on Tuesday due to his health.

Tension between Bahrain's government and protesters has escalated recently. A court in Bahrain on Thursday sentenced [JURIST report] Zainab Al-Khawaja, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's daughter, to one month in prison for trying to organize an anti-government protest. Earlier this month, Bahraini authorities arrested [JURIST report] prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. Also in May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called for the immediate release [JURIST report] of the leader's of last year's anti-government protests, including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja. In April, HRW issued a report claiming that Bahraini police were abusing detained protesters [JURIST report]. Earlier in April, Amnesty International [advocacy website] declared that Bahrain's government committed human rights violations [JURIST report] against anti-government protesters.

 

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