Bahrain rights activists on hunger strike

Two Bahraini human rights activists have intensified their hunger strike and are refusing fluids, according to a report released March 25 by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). According to the report Zainab al-Khawaja and her father, prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja began refusing fluids in response to being denied visits from their families. Earlier this month, the Bahrain court of appeals overturned the acquittal of Zainab al-Khawaja, who has been accused of insulting a government employee, and sentenced her to three months of imprisonment. She began her hunger strike on March 18. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison for his role anti-government protests by a military tribunal in June 2011. The Bahraini government has denied the report.

Bahrain has faced international scrutiny regarding its treatment of political prisoners. Earlier this month a court in Bahrain acquitted human rights activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda on charges of spreading false news to harm the country's security on Twitter. Bahrain authorities banned all protests effective October 2012. In December Bahrain's High Criminal Court of Appeals commuted death sentences for two protesters, instead sentencing them to life imprisonment.

From Jurist, March 25. Used with permission.


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