Monday, May 28, 2012

Bahraini activist Khawaja stops hunger strike

Abdelhadi Khawaja
Bahraini opposition activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja will end a 110-day hunger strike on Monday evening. his lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi said. Earlier Jishi announced that another prominent activist, Nabeel Rajab, was granted bail although he continues to face three separate trials. In a statement posted by the lawyer on his Twitter page, Khawaja cited the fact that he is being  force fed since April 23 as one of the reasons why he stopped his strike.
Khawaja was arrested in April last year following a government crackdown on Shiite-dominated protests, He began his hunger strike on February 8. He is the former head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), and has dual Bahraini and Danish nationalities. Last June he was tried with 20 others by a military tribunal of plotting to overthrow the government. Together with seven olthers he got a life imprisonment, while 14 others were sentenced to between two and 15 years. He is being retried in a civil court along with 12 others. A new hearing is slated for Tuesday.
Rajab, the current head of BCHR, was arrested on 5 May upon arrival from a trip abroad after posting tweets deemed insulting to security forces. He was released on a bail of 300 dinars ($796). However, the prosecutor ordered him to stay behind bars for questioning in the case of taking part in a rally and calling for illegal demonstrations. On Monday, the defence asked the court to "combine the three cases together in one trial," lawyer Jishi said.

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