A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Bahrain rights activist ends hunger strike

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.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.