Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bahraini activist Khawaja in hospital after hungerstrike of nearly 60 days

 The jailed Bahraini activist Abdulhadi Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for 58 days, was moved to a hospital and fed intravenously on Friday after his health deteriorated sharply, his lawyer said.Protesters clashed with police at a gathering of more than 5,000 demonstrators in the north of the capital Manama to demand the release of Khawaja, one of 14 men in prison for leading "Arab Spring" pro-democracy protests last year. One Bahraini man died on Saturday after being shot during an anti-government march. Ahmed Ismail (22) was taking pictures of a demonstration when what he described as "militia members" in an unmarked car opened fire on him.
Khawaja's lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, said Khawaja had been moved from an Interior Ministry clinic to a military hospital which was better equipped. The authorities had said on Wednesday he had been moved to the Interior Ministry clinic after losing 10 kg."His condition has worsened ... his blood pressure is down, and he is getting an IV (intravenous) drip," Jishi told Reuters by telephone.
Khawaja was arrested last April following the uprising centred on the Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama. He was convicted in June of trying to overthrow the Bahraini royal family. Amnesty International says Khawaja's conviction was based on a confession made under duress, and no evidence was presented showing he had used or advocated violence during the mass protests. According to testimony Khawaja gave to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry - a panel of human rights experts asked to look into the unrest by King Hamad following the international outcry over his handling of the protests - Khawaja suffered prolonged torture while in detention.

No comments: