Will Bahrain’s highest court do justice tomorrow for HRD Al-Khawaja?

April 1, 2012

A leading Bahraini human rights defender, Al-Khawaja’s appeal is set to be heard in Bahrain’s Court of Cassation on 2 April. He is currently serving a life sentence for his role in anti-government protests last year. The activist is at risk of death after 50 days on hunger strike (according to his lawyer, he has lost 16 kg since his hunger strike began on 8 February). Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, 52, is a former protection co-ordinator with Frontline, an NGO on the Jury of the MEA. He was arrested in April last year for being one of the leaders of anti-government protests and was sentenced to life imprisonment in a grossly unfair trial by a military court last June.  “Bahrain must ensure that Al-Khawaja is released immediately and unconditionally,” said Philip Luther of  Amnesty International, another member of the MEA Jury. He added: “The continued imprisonment of Al-Khawaja demonstrates that the Bahraini authorities are not serious about fulfilling their promises to release people imprisoned for exercising their right to free spHe has not used or advocated violence in his participation in the anti-government protests, and no such evidence was shown by the authorities during the trial.

Activists in Bahrain have repeatedly called for ’s release. Demonstrators in Manama attempted to stage a sit-in at a main highway on Monday, but were quickly dispersed by riot police.  Al-Khawaja, who is married with four daughters, is also a citizen of Denmark, where he lived in exile for decades. He returned to Bahrain after the government announced a general amnesty in 2001. Danish diplomats have visited him in prison several times and confirmed his deteriorating health.

4 Responses to “Will Bahrain’s highest court do justice tomorrow for HRD Al-Khawaja?”


  1. […] Will Bahrain’s highest court do justice tomorrow for HRD Al-Khawaja? (thoolen.wordpress.com) […]


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