Bahraini activist to end hunger strike Monday: lawyer


Jailed Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja will end a more than three-month-long hunger strike on Monday evening because he has managed to draw attention to the issue of imprisoned activists, his lawyer said.

Mohammed al-Jishi said a detailed statement by Khawaja was to be issued later on Monday.

“Starting this evening he will stop his hunger strike ... the strike has generally achieved its results to shed the light on the case of the detainees in Bahrain,” Jishi told Reuters by telephone from Manama.

Khawaja, who was arrested in April last year following a government crackdown on protests, began his hunger strike on February 8.

The former head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, who has dual Bahraini and Danish nationalities, was convicted last June by a military tribunal, along with 20 other activists, of plotting to overthrow the government.

Seven activists, including Khawaja, were jailed for life, while 14 others were sentenced to between two and 15 years in prison.

But he is being retried in a civil court along with 12 others. A new hearing is slated for Tuesday.

He appeared in court on Tuesday last week, in his first appearance since he began his hunger strike. Arriving in a wheelchair, he looked frail, but he told the court that he was force-fed in prison.

In related news, Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, facing three separate trials on charges including taking part in an illegal gathering and writing tweets deemed insulting to the government, was granted bail on Monday, his lawyer said.

“He has just been released on bail,” Mohammed al-Jishi told AFP by telephone from Manama.