News Release

Bahrani Pro-Democracy Hunger Striker at Risk of Death

AP is reporting: “Thousands of protesters in Bahrain chanted slogans Friday in support of a jailed human rights activist whose nearly two-month hunger strike has become a powerful rallying point.” BBC is reporting that the hunger striker, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, “has been moved to a hospital clinic and is being fed intravenously after 58 days on hunger strike.”

CNN is reporting: “Authorities in Bahrain said Friday that they’ve arrested the daughter of a human rights activist who has drawn international attention and widespread protests with a hunger strike that he’s sustained for nearly two months. Zainab al-Khawaja was detained outside the Interior Ministry complex, said her lawyer, who is also representing her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. Her father is striking to protest the life sentence he received for his alleged role in the unrest that continues to embroil his country.” The CNN report includes a video interview with Maryam, his other daughter.

Amnesty International in a recent statement, “Bahrain: Release leading rights activist at risk of death from hunger strike” noted that they consider “Al-Khawaja to be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.”

NABEEL RAJAB, nabeel.rajab at gmail.com, @nabeelrajab
Rajab is co-founder with Abdulhadi al-Khawaja of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. He said today: “We are afraid that he might lose his life or lose part of his body at any time. We seek international intervention on Bahrain, politically, economically, to pressure the Bahraini regime to stop its crimes against the people and against all the prisoners, including my colleague and my teacher, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.”

RADHIKA SAINATH, radhika.sainath at gmail.com, @radhikasainath
Sainath is an attorney and activist with Occupy Wall Street and Witness Bahrain and has been helping lead protests outside the Bahrani consulate in New York City.

MOHAMMAD ALI NAQUVI, alinaquvi at yahoo.com
Also helping organize protests in New York, Ali Naquvi is an attorney and activist with the American Council for Freedom in Bahrain.

Zainab al-Khawaja, who is now detained and reportedly starting her own hunger strike, had been regularly tweeting: @angryarabiya

Maryam al-Khawaja is at @MARYAMALKHAWAJA