Bahrain activist Al-Khawaja to end hunger strike
28 May 2012
Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is to end his 110-day hunger strike on Monday evening, his lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi says.
His daughter Maryam AlKhawaja said that Alkhawaja confirmed that he will be stopping his hunger strike while continuing to boycott the court sessions which he believes are not just nor fair. Alkhawaja confirmed that the main goal of his hungerstrike had not been achieved (freedom) but the overall purpose of helping activists shed light on the ongoing human rights violations happening in Bahrain. Alkhawaja said he has been forcefed since the 23rd of April and due to continuous requests from friends and colleagues he decided to end his hungerstrike. The forcefeeding was/is considered torture according to international standards. Alkhawaja said he will comply with program to return to normal eating conditions and he thanks his family and all those who supported him.
Urgent appeal: Abdulhadi Alkhawaja may be on his deathbed (100 day on hunger strike) 18 May 2012
Human rights defender Abdel Hadi Khawaja, on hunger strike for more than three months, is well but still continues his fast to protest a life sentence, his lawyer said on Thursday.
"Abdel Hadi can walk. He is conscious and moves around normally," the lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, told AFP after meeting with his client for the first time in more than 45 days.
"He is pursuing his hunger strike and subsides on liquids for his survival," said Jishi.
He said he met Khawaja at Jaw prison, south of Manama.
Khawaja was taken to Jaw on Tuesday weeks after being kept in a military hospital for observation.
"His health has slightly improved because he was force fed," the lawyer said of Khawaja.
13 May 2012 The wife of AlKhawaja said his condition appears better, but he is still only taking water and juice in his protest against government crackdowns in Bahrain.
Khadija al-Musawi says she visited her husband, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, for about two hours Sunday.
08 May 2012
Alkhawaja's wife said that the activist did not call on Saturday because "he couldn't speak and was weak".
He could not go to court, where he is facing allegations of "setting up terror groups to topple the regime and change the constitution", because he could not stand still.
"The doctor asked him yesterday to take some IV and ensure liquid so he will be able to go to court but he refused," Khadija Almousawi tweeted. "He will continue his hunger strike. I know that he is getting weaker and weaker but I know also that his spirit is very high and he has strength of a nation in his weak, skinny body. He asked me to be strong. He asked me to be happy. I am strong for the sake of my family and I am happy for him to be able to continue his struggle for freedom."
Read more: ibtimes.co.uk
07 May 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja hasn't called his family since Friday when he announced he was stopping IV.
04 May 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja informed his wife that he will only be taking water in protest of ongoing violations. Since his force feeding he had accepted to take IV only when necessary.
02 May 2012
The BBC's Frank Gardner had five minutes to meet with Bahraini hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.
"He is walking and exercising but is still visibly thin, having lost around 25% of his body weight.
We had the strong impression that this is a man who wants to make a stand but does not want to actually die (suicide is haram, forbidden, in Islam)."
Full BBC report: bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17933393
29 April 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja finally had a family visit today. He had been drugged, tied to the bed, forcibly fed with a nasoenteric tube. Alkhawaja said he considered the force feeding and the solitary confinement as torture and will hold the doctor, hospital and Ministry of Interior responsible. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja told his family the doctor's name is dr Ebrahim Zuwayed, and that he is continuing his hunger strike.
Khadija al-Musawi says she saw Abdulhadi al-Khawaja for about an hour in a prison hospital Sunday. Other relatives also visited.
Al-Musawi says her husband is weak but in good spirits.
25 April 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, on 77th day of hunger strike, did not call his wife today as he usually does. Both the Ministry of Interior and the Bahrain Defense Force hospital refused to give his wife any information when she called to inquire about him. His family fear the worst. His lawyer was not allowed to have any contact with him in last 3 weeks despite repeated requests. The Danish Ambassador hasn't been allowed 2 see Alkhawaja lately nor talk to him.
His daughter Zainab who was arrested two days ago is to be held for 7 days by order of the public prosecution.
22 April 2012
The wife of detained human rights defender Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, on Day 74 of his hunger strike, has said "The Danish ambassador visited AlKhawaja to convince him with taking IV saline but he refused." AlKhawaja's lawyer still unable to get a visit to see him.
20 April 2012
Human Rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, now on 72nd day of hunger strike, stopped drinking water along with all fluids and IV on Thursday. He asked to see his lawyer to write his will, but both lawyer and Danish ambassador have been attempting to see him all day, but denied access. His wife said that his voice sounded weaker than any time before.
He said, if they won't allow the lawyer to see him, he has three things he would like everyone to know: 1st: he is completely convinced in what he is doing, and that he has chosen this path and would choose it again if time goes back. 2nd: he asks that nobody attempts to go on a similar strike till death. and 3rd he said: "If I die, in the next 24 hrs, I ask the people to continue on path of peaceful resistance, ... I don't want anybody to be hurt in my name."
18 April 2012
Abdulhadi AlKhawaja called his family today and informed them that he had only water. His blood pressure & sugar dropped as he is on day 70 of hungerstrike.
The wife of Alkhawaja accused Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone of ignoring her husband's plight ahead of Sunday's controversial grand prix in the troubled country. she said the 81-year-old F1 boss had missed a chance to do something to help the pro-democracy movement and her husband Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. "I am not angry with the government...it's their future at stake. What makes me angry is people like Ecclestone who decides to come to Bahrain because he thinks everyone is happy," said al-Mousawi, one of whose daughters was at a large protest in Manama later in the evening.
"I can assure you that I am not happy. My family is not happy."
17 April 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja called his wife today, informed her that starting dawn tomorrow he will stop accepting IV and any fluids other than water.
15 April 2012
The family of detained human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, was finally allowed to see him in a military hospital on Day 67 of his hunger strike. Zainab Alkhawaja, also a prominent activist, describes the visit:
We were allowed a 1 hour visit to see my father today.
We were escorted by police and soldiers into a small hospital room, where we were searched thoroughly several times. My father was brought to us, or a skeleton version of my father. I didn't think he could look worse than the picture we saw, but he did. He's so skinny I was surprised he could sit up to speak to us. I can't use the word skinny, or thin. My father looks like someone who is in the final days of a long fight with a terminal illness. But as usual, he was the happiest person in the room, greeted us with a big smile. "Why do u all look so sad?" he asked.
My father's eyes were not normal, not focused. One eye looked lower than the other, he told me it's because of low blood sugar. I held my fathers hand, and they were ice cold. "Do you feel cold baba?" [I asked] He said, "Yes, always cold, but that's normal at this stage."...
He said, "I'm taking some juice & water, as this is my agreement with the Danish ambassador who tells me there's hope. I told the doctors here that this is the exception, if nothing changes in 2-3 days, I will go back to refusing liquids."
My father has spoken to doctors & told them in the chance he goes into a coma, he does not want an IV....Mum said, "Docs who saw you say you are in imminent danger of death." Dad smiled & said, "Whatever happens is in the interest of the people."
12 April 2012
Prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja called his family, and said that his health deteriorated last night and he was informed by doctors that he might go into a coma. He was given IV, which has kept him conscious but weak. His family and lawyer are still not allowed to visit him. His wife said he was allowed just a brief call in exchange that he will drink little water.
10 April 2012
Bahraini authorities continued to turn down repeated requests to contact AlKhawaja by his family and lawyer. The last time lawyer Mohamed AlJishi contacted Khawaja was on Saturday, a day after he was moved from the Interior Ministry hospital into a military hospital in Manama.
Denmark's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Christian König Feldt, visited on Tuesday night the hunger strikers Abdulhadi al-Khawaja in Bahrain. visit lasted 20 minutes, and the ambassador has asked for another visit on Wednesday. "It is clear that he is very weak after the long hunger strike. But I can not say anything more about his health, because it's something we tell the family, and we've secrecy action," said Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, a Danish Foreign Ministry official. Al-Khawajas wife, Khadija Almousawi said that the ambassador told her that her husband is conscious, and that he still has "his sharp intelligence intact."
Danish PM Statement
"Denmark demands that Danish-Bahraini citizen and human rights activist Khawaja be freed," said Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at a press conference.
"According to our information, Khawaja's condition is very critical," she added.
A Danish Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Khawaja was alive on Monday according to "credible independent sources" who saw him that day.
Danish ambassador to Bahrain Christian Koenigsfeldt was not allowed to see the prisoner on Sunday or Monday, as he has done daily, the spokesperson told AFP.
09 April 2012
The Times: JAILED hunger-striking dissident Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was feared to have died, his lawyer said last night, after Bahraini authorities turned down repeated requests to contact him.
Lawyer Mohammed al-Jeshi said nobody had been allowed to see Mr Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for 60 days, since Saturday, the day after the 50-year-old was transferred from the interior ministry hospital into a military hospital in Manama. "Authorities have been refusing since yesterday (Sunday) all requests, made by myself and by his family, to visit or contact al-Khawaja," Mr Jeshi said.
"We fear that he might have passed away as there is no excuse for them to prevent us from visiting or contacting him."
Mr Jeshi said that no information was available on the health of Mr Khawaja, who has shed 25 per cent of his body weight.
However, government spokesman Abdulaziz bin Mubarak al-Khalifa, a member of the royal family, earlier said Mr Khawaja's condition was stable, he was being monitored by three doctors and receiving water and nutrients.
Yesterday, Bahrain reportedly rejected a Danish request that Mr Khawaja, who holds Danish nationality, be flown to that country.
Danish papers quoted the head of the foreign ministry's consular service, Ole Engberg Mikkelsen, as saying "a reply will come through diplomatic channels and not via a news agency or Twitter".
Mr Mikkelsen said he did not know when Manama would send its official reply.
"Unfortunately, there is not much time. It is a case where the clock is ticking," he said.
"We are continuing our efforts to convince Bahrain that it is in everyone's interest that he be extradited."
Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based NGO, warned that Mr Khawaja could now die in jail, while Bahrain's largest opposition movement, al-Wefaq, condemned that decision, saying it amounted to having "signed his death" sentence.
Mr Khawaja's plight has become a rallying point for the latest demonstrations. His daughter Maryam, who was in Cairo, said: "My sister visited him and said he was so weak he could barely breathe. He says if he dies, he will die with dignity."
08 April 2012
The family members of AlKhawaja are still not allowed to see him since he was hospitalized on Apr 3, 2012. They also have received no calls from him today. They received a call to go to visit him in the military hospital, but when they got there they were told to go back and that there are no orders to allow them to see him.
Doctor of AlKhawaja who is now on his 60th day of hunger strike said hospital IV drip "won't be enough to keep him alive".
Bahrain said today it will not hand over Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja to Denmark as requested. The Supreme Judiciary Council announced today that the provisions of Criminal Procedures Law stipulating the handing over of accused and convicted persons to foreign countries does not pertain to the case of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and thus he will not be transferred to Denmark.
Bahraini authorities also charged Al-Khawaja's daughter with assaulting a public employee after she tried to visit her father. Zainab al-Khawaja was charged and released Saturday after her arrest Thursday outside ministry of interior where her father was receiving care. She was arrested again Saturday at the military hospital and detained for around 6 hours then relased without allowing her to see her father.
07 April 2012 23:00
Abdulhadi AlKhawaja called his family. According to his daughter Zainab AlKhawaja (who was released this afternoon after getting arrested on Thursday night) he can hardly speak, and he can hardly breath. He took very long pauses between every word, as he told his wife about the mistreatment he is receiving from the military hospital staff and the guards. He said that when they treated him badly he said to them "I will not accept this. I lived free and proud outside your prison and I live free and proud inside." He told them if they didn't improve their treatment and allow him to talk to his family he will stop drinking water as well. He also said he will not stop his hungerstrike and he has told the guards "if I die, I die with dignity."
According to his lawyer, Mohamed AlJishi, AlKhawaja has asked to be transferred to another hospital because of the mistreatment he is receiving at the military hospital.
07 April 2012 18:00 The wife of Abdulhadi AlKhawaja said today that she has received news that Abdulhadi is being mistreated by the nurses and the guards at the military hospital. Despite his critical stage his family was not permitted to visit him or to receive phone calls from him.
06 April 2012
Human Rights defender Al-Khawaja has been transferred to the Military Hospital after further health deterioration.
05 April 2012
This is an urgent appeal to save the life of prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi Alkhawaja. His wife was told that his pulse is so weak he may go into cardiac arrest at any minute. Time is short and Abdulhadi Alkhawaja may die at any time. His lawyer Mohammed AlJishi released this picture today which he took in the hospital yesterday:
Zainab AlKhawaja is protesting since around 10:30pm (Bahrain time) in front of Ministry of Interior (MOI) building to demand the release of her father HRD AbdulHadi Alkhawaja. Police surrounded her and tried to make her move away. They shot tear gas on the other activists who were there, and detained representative of FIDH for half an hour for interrogation. The road leading to that gate of the ministry was closed.
My Father is Dying, by Maryam AlKhawaja
Read Zainab Alkhawaja’s poem about her father, “The Sultan Digs my Fathers Grave”
04 April 2012
Latest updates from the lawyer of Alkhawaja, Mohamed AlJishi:
"I was able to visit the human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja this evening at the hospital of the ministry of interior where he was transferred since yesterday. He told me that his health has further deteriorated last night to the level that he was completely unable to move. At this stage the doctors gave Al-Khawaja IV as he was not able to move. While I was there, blood sugar and blood pressure checks were done for Al-Khawaja and it was very low. The doctor told me that it's not possible for a human to survive more than this period even with the aid of IV and it doesn't substitute real food."
03 April 2012
Prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi Alkhawaja who is on his 55th day of hunger strike is entering a critical phase where his life is at stake. He had two doctors accompanying him at all times last night, and today he is being moved to the fort prison due to lack of the necessary medical equipment in the central Jaw prison. This is due to fears that he may go into a coma at any time, as his blood sugar and blood pressure have both further dropped. Alkhawaja and the other 13 prominent leaders had their case taken to the Court of Cassation yesterday, where lawyers requested that they be released pending court decision. The judge refused the request, and announced that the decision will be read on the 23rd of April.
The BCHR urges the Bahrain government to immediately release Abdulhadi Alkhawaja on humanitarian grounds as his life is in serious danger, and getting to a situation where there might be an unrepairable damage to his physical well-being, if he survives. We urge the government to take into consideration the deteriorating health condition of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja that cannot wait until the court's decision. Any damage to the health of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is the responsibility of the Bahraini government, including keeping him alive.
April 03, 2012 55th day of hungerstrike: Human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja hospitalized
Because of deteriorated condition, the jail administration decided to move Al-Khawaja this morning to the main prisoners' hospital at the ministry of interior's headquarter (The Fort) to stay under supervision.
On April 2, Bahrain's Court of Cassation refused to release Al-Khawaja and another 13 detained activists, and it refused to include the BICI report in the case records. It said it would announce on April 23 its verdict in the case. After the hearing session Al-Khawaja called to inform his family and lawyer that he will stop glucose intake.
According to his lawyer, Al-Khawja will sustain from any IV intake in case his health deteriorated.
Bahraini activist Zainab Alkhawaja has posted a heart-shaped letter from her father Adbulhadi, the detained human rights activist who is on Day 54 of a hunger strike:
My dear & beloved family, from behind prison bars, I send to you my love & yearning. From a free man, to a free family. These prison walls don't separate me from you, they bring us closer together. Our connection & determination is stronger than ever. We take our strength, from beautiful memories. Remembering every trip, every meal we ate together, all the conversations, remembering every smile, all the jokes & the laughter. The distance between us disappears, thru our love & faith.
It's true: I am in here, & you are out there. But, you are in here with me, and I am out there with you. Our pain is made more bearable when we remember we chose this difficult path & took an oath to remain on it. We must not only remain patient thru our suffering, we must never allow the pain to conquer our souls. Let our hearts be filled with joy, and an acceptance of the responsibility we have been given for in the end, this life is about finding a path of truth towards God.
Also check this interview with Nabeel Rajab and Zainab AlKhawaja on democracynow.org
March 31, 2012
Human rights defender Abdulhadi Alkhawaja's family went to visit him this morning and were told that he has been hospitalized since last night and is not in the prison. They were not allowed to get access to him at the military hospital.
Yesterday his blood sugar had dropped to 2.1. After collapsing, he was taken to the military hospital, then returned to prison. He then collapsed again and was taken to the prison hospital. According to AlKhawaja's family, his color has turned greyish, his eyes have fallen deeper into their sockets and he has lost around 25% of his weight. It is important to note that Alkhawaja was not in good health when he started his hunger strike due to being subjected to severe torture during his detention. The doctor informed Alkhawaja that "he might fall asleep and not wake up", that the continuation of his hunger strike could cause him to go into a permanent coma.
March 29, 2012 Human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja enters 50th day of hunger strike
Latest info received from his lawyer Mr Mohamed Al-Jishi after a visit this morning:
Today a Danish doctor visited AlKhawaja to checkup on his health. Results showed his blood sugar has dropped significantly to 2.1. Doctors (Danish doctor and prison's doctor) stated that AlKhawaja's situation is very critical and worrisome. They expect his health to deteriorate any moment in the coming days. Doctors stress that he needs glucose intake to stay alive. Yesterday AlKhawaja stated that in coming days he'll be giving up glucose too, in protest of Bahrain regime claiming that it's not a hunger strike if he is taking glucose.
His lawyer Mohamed AlJishi says although AlKhawaja has lost more than 15 kg he's more determined than ever.
Also see this:
Andrew Anderson of Front Line defenders: My fears and Abdulhadi Alkhawaja's courage after fifty days on hunger strike
March 14, 2012
DUBAI (Reuters) - The condition of a jailed Bahraini activist who has been on hunger strike for over a month is deteriorating.
Khawaja is drinking a liter a day of salted water and glucose but prison authorities may intervene to force-feed him if the hunger strike continues, said Mohammed al-Jishi, a lawyer who visited him this week.
"He can't go on like this, but he refuses absolutely to go back to eating. He says 'I take my freedom or die'," he said, adding Khawaja had stopped drinking water for several days last week. "Since Sunday he started drinking liquids again and got back strength and could talk and move."
Khawaja stopped drinking in protest after a visit by Bahraini rights group official who Khawaja had believed was a journalist, Jishi said. He said the group, viewed by Khawaja as pro-government, gave a false impression of his condition.
"We believe that his hunger strike is not exposing him thus far to imminent danger," the group called Mabadi said in a statement published in the pro-government al-Ayyam daily.
Supporters of Khawaja have started a Twitter campaign to raise awareness under the hashtag #KillingKhawaja, which has trended on the social network. Read more on ibtimes.co.uk
March 11th, 2012
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) has recently learnt that on the 6th of March, two individuals who only identified themselves as Dr. Fatima and Mohammed met with Human Rights Defender Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja in prison. The doctor told him she will be administrating a checkup and consequently Mr.Alkhawaja allowed this. The results were, low blood pressure, low blood sugar and low temperature. When they started asking him questions unrelated to his health, Mr.Alkhawaja asked them to identify themselves properly or he would refuse to answer their questions. They refused and walked out.
Mr.Alkhawaja was surprised to see a press release days later based on the testimony of a Mr. Mohammed Alahmad – Pro-government journalist- from the GONGO organization, stating that his health was fine and the that he was being treated well. The press release was released by the Ministry of Human Rights.
In protest to the manner by which the prison and the Ministry behaved, Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja decided to end cooperation with the hospital clinic by refusing medical check-ups, starting Saturday 10 March. He insisted that they either be honest in relating information regarding his health or he would refuse to do the routine checkups. This further endangers his life as now his blood sugar and pressure will not be monitored.
Mr.Alkhawaja also started refusing water and glucose which resulted in the deterioration of his health and he was unable to concentrate. After three days, Mr.Alkhawaja started drinking water and taking glucose once again.
On a different note and in contrast to what the Ministry of Human Rights alleges, the Danish foreign Minister stated to a Danish Newspaper that he was worried about Mr.Alkhawaja’s health after a representative of the Danish embassy met with the activist last week.
The BYSHR demands that:
1. The international community exerts more pressure in order to secure the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defender Abdulhadi Alkhawaja before there is any further deterioration in his health 2. That the Ministry of Human Rights allow credible, international human rights organizations who have repeatedly requested to see the activist access to him in order to be able to adequately evaluate his health situation 3. That the Ministry of Human Rights refrain from using GONGO’s in order to discredit claims made by credible human rights activist 4. That the Ministry of Human Rights release accurate and precise information regarding human rights defender Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja’s health situation.
05 March 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja was moved to the hospital last night after the doctor insisted to do so, due to his deteriorating health. After several attempts to insert the IV needle, Alkhawaja's arm started swelling up and they had to remove the needle. He was given water and glucose and returned to prison.
29 Feb 2012 URGENT ACTION: As he enters 20th day of Hungerstrike: Lawyer warns that Alkhawaja’s health is entering a dangerous Phase
Prison CLINIC can no longer administer IV Fluids as Activists Veins are too weak
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) calls on international human rights organizations to urgently intervene to secure the release of human rights defender Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja (Previous President and acting director of the BCHR) who is to enter his 21st day of hungerstrike tomorrow. Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja had began the hungerstrike demanding “Freedom or Death” on the 8th of February which followed a 1 week hungerstrike just 2 days before which aimed at highlighting the continued human rights violations taking place in Bahrain. According to Mr.Alkhawaja’s wife, the activist can no longer tolerate sitting for longer than 10-15 minutes in the sun due to fatigue and spends most of his day lying down. Mr.Alkhawaja’s wife also states that the activist needs a hot water bottle to keep his body warm.
The activists lawyer, Mr. Mohammed Aljishi had previously stated that the hospital clinic can no longer administer IV fluids as the activists veins are too weak.
Mr. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja’s daughter, Human Rights Defender Ms.Maryam Alkhawaja, Head of Foreign Relations of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights(BCHR)as well as the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) , had previously stated that Mr.Alkhawaja was exhibiting symptoms of a person on his 60th day of hungerstrike as his Kidney had already started to get affected. He also shows signs of increasing fatigue and lack of concentration in addition to having difficulty in moving.
The activist, even in accordance to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) that was commissioned by the King , was subject to severe torture. Numerous international human rights organizations have called for Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja’s release such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First as well as Frontline Defenders and questioned the trial procedures through which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The BYSHR once again calls for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defender Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja and places full responsibility for his well being on the Bahraini authorities.
Update - 28 Feb 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is now on his 19th Day of open hunger strike for freedom at the central prison of Bahrain. According to his family, Alkhawaja is not able to go out for more than 10/15 minutes, and cannot sit up for a long time. He spends most of his time laying down as his health continues to deteriorate. Prison's medics have stopped giving him IV completely as they can no longer insert the needle into his veins due to how small they've gotten.
A sit-in took place in Al Wefaq Head Quarter on Feb 27, 2012, in soilidarity with Abdulhadi Al Khawaja. Large numbers of people were present in the event including human rights and political activists. (Photos here)
Online activists planned for several days to tweet about AlKhawaja on twitter using certain hashtags at certain times aiming to make it trend worldwide and thus shed light at the plight of the country's detainees. It sounded impossible considering the small population of Bahrain but the international tweeting support helped in making it happen. The manged to do it three times so far and to appear on World wide trending topics using #HelpKhawaja , #Hungry4BH (also documented here) and #Bahraini4Freedom. If you are on twitter you can follow @khawajastrike and join next campaign!
Update - 23 Feb 2012 - As Received from AlKhawaja's lawyer, Mr Mohamed AlJishi:
In a one-hour private visit, I met Abdulhadi Al Khawaja today in Jaw Central Prison. Signs of fatigue were clearly shown on Al Khawaja. He was pale and lost lots of weight. I sent him all the people's plea to stop the strike as they need him alive to struggle for Bahrain, and for his own risk.
Abdulhadi Al Khawaja told the lawyer: "I thank who ever stand in solidarity with me and people of Bahrain outside and inside the country. The case is not only about me. It's about all wrongfully detainees in Bahrain. My hungerstrike is a part of my Human rights defence inside jail. It's very important to focus on all detainees as I'm just a part of them. I will continue with my hunger strike till I reach my demands despite the consequences. I'm aware that freedom is expensive and we must sacrifice to gain it."
According to the lawyer, although Al Khawaja is really tired after 2 weeks of hunger strike, he is still holding his head high and smiling.
His wife, Mrs Khadija AlMousawi said that after a urine checkup to Abdulhadi, there was blood in his urine. The doctor asked him to drink juice and he does now to avoid kidney failure.
AlKhawaja is now on his 15th day of Hunger strike for Freedom or death.
During a sit-in protest in front of the UN office organized by the political societies on Feb 22, 2012 to condemn the international community's silence towards the human rights violations in Bahrain, a group of youth wore T-shirts with photo of Abdulhadi on it in support to his strike. At the night, a number of protests took place in solidarity with Alkhawaja. (see more photos here)
Imprisoned HRD AlKhawaja Calls EU to stand to their obligation to protect humanrights defenders
On a letter that he wrote to the Danish Forieng Minister, Danish-Bahrini human rights defender Alkhawaja called EU member states to take action as per the EU-Guidelines to protect human rights defender.
"As a human rights defender, regardless of being a Danish citizen, I am entitled for protection by EU member states in accordance with the EU Guidelines on the protection of human rights defenders around the world. Hence, I would suggest that the Danish authorities kindly put more efforts, in coordination with the other EU-State members, to take whatever possible action at the regional level as embassies, in Brussels institutions ad at the UN in Geneva, to address my case and the cases of other detained activists, calling for release, repartition and protection for human rights defenders in Bahrain. "
Update - 21 Feb 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is now in his 14th day of Hunger Strike for freedom. He has lost 9 kilos, and suffered an internal bleeding due to kidneys damage.
Andrew Anderson, Front Line Defenders Deputy Director, wrote on his blog:
I know that Abdulhadi does not seek death. He is a person full of hope and love for his family and his community. But I know that he will be hugely frustrated by the ongoing death toll which has seen a teenager tortured to death and many others die from tear-gas inhalation. It seems he is seeking to force the issue in the most desperate way a prisoner can. read th full blog post here
Update - 18 Feb 2012 Alkhawaja: “The hungerstrike allows me to shed light on human rights violations from my Prison Cell”
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) has learnt that Human Rights Defender Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja (51 years) is determined to continue in his hungerstrike until he secures his release. Family members have informed the BYSHR that although Mr. Alkhawaja was in high spirits, he looked thin and weak and had obvious problems concentrating.
Mr.Alkhawaja also confirmed that he had collapsed last Wednesday and was transferred to the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital after a sharp drop in his sugar and blood pressure. He was first transferred to the Jaw Prison clinic but when medics saw his condition they quickly called for an ambulance. He was semi unconscious when he was transported via an ambulance to the hospital where he suffered from muscle spasms. He received treatment but refused to end his hungerstrike.
It is important to note that this is the second hungerstrike the activists engages in with only 2 days in between, the first which was with the other 13 detained activists in protest to the ongoing human rights violations and which lasted for 1 week. The activist is currently in his 10th day of his second hungerstrike. This has contributed to the deterioration in is health condition.
Mr.Alkhawaja stated that he was on hungerstrike because as a human rights activist he needs to play a role in exposing human rights violations, whether he be on the inside or the outside of a prison cell. The hungerstrike aims to secure his release, but more importantly allow him the opportunity to do something inside prison to shed light on the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. He said that those who claim to defend human rights need to be prepared to make sacrifices, and that he was prepared for all possible consequences of this hungerstrike. He also wanted to highlight the plight of those prisoners of conscience still detained and shed light on their cause.
The BYSHR supports and respects Human Rights Defender Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja’s decision to continue his hungerstrike and calls on the international community to stand behind him in order to secure his release and support his plight in highlighting the human rights violations happening in the Kingdom of Bahrain. byshr.org
Update - 15 Feb 2012
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja collapsed last night due to Hunger strike "freedom or death" in continued detention. He was admitted to hospital and was given IV without his consent. According to his lawyer Mohamed AlJishi who was able to meet him today, Alkhawaja has difficulty moving, talking and seems extremely exhausted. He is continuing on his Hunger strike. The lawyer expressed worries about Abdulhadi Al Khawaja's health condition after yesterday's setback.
14 Feb 2012
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) has learned from Human Rights Defender Mr.Abdulhadi alkhawaja’s family that his health has deteriorated today as he enters his seventh day of hunger strike for freedom. Mr.Alkhawaja began the hungerstrike on Wednesday the 8th of February, and demanded “Freedom or death” as a condition for ending his hungerstrike. He has been taken to hospital more than once in the past days due to a drop in his blood sugar.
In a phone call to the family, Mr.Alkhawaja’s brother, Mr.Salah Alkhawaja (also sentenced in the same case as Mr.Abdulhadi Alkhawaja and serving 5 years) informed them about the health condition of Mr.Abdulhadi and his intention of starting a hungerstike tonight in solidarity.
The BYSHR calls on the international community and human rights organisation to pressure the Bahraini government for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr.Abdulhadi alkhawaja. byshr.org
Open Letter to Danish Foreign Minister
Open Letter written by Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja to Danish Foreign Minister on the eve of his hunger strike in which he demanded his freedom and that of the other detainees.
12 Feb 2012 - Abdulhadi Alkhawaja : Freedom or Death
Abdulhadi Alkhawaja has entered his 5th day on hunger strike for freedom. He was hospitalized two nights ago (Feb 10, 2012) because of his deteriorating health due to the hunger strike. On Feb 11, 2012 He refused IV and is only drinking water with glucose. Alkhawaja almost went into a coma and was admitted to the hospital on the 31st of January due to low BP and blood sugar during his earlier hunger strike. Family members and colleagues are concerned about his continued detention and hunger strike as well as his previous history with torture, and believe that his rapidly deteriorating health will be fatal.