Bahrain Continues to Delay Human Rights Investigations: here.
This video is called Asma Darwish’s Hunger Strike in Bahrain.
From A Safe World for Women:
Bahraini Activist Asma Darwish
Interview by Joanne Michele, Safeworld Correspondent
On the 22nd of May, 2011 a Bahraini photographer, Mohammad Darwish, was arrested by the authorities.
The authorities refused to give any information to his family and on the 4th of June, his sister, Asma Darwish, went on hunger strike.
Asma was no stranger to human rights issues in Bahrain. Her husband Hussain Jawad was a member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Amnesty International and had himself been arrested three times. She herself was well known to the media and became a regular contact for the media through twitter under the name of @eagertobefree.
Her father-in-law, Mohammad Hassan Mohammad Jawad (Parweez), an independent human rights activist was arrested on March 22 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Parwees was 65 and was the oldest political prisoner in Bahrain. When he was arrested he was tortured and held in solitary confinement for 4 months.
When we first spoke in December, Asma’s 16-year old cousin had just been released after two months in prison. He’d been arrested for watching, but not participating in, the protests, and was exposed to torture. Moreover, another cousin and uncle are both political prisoners, having been sentenced to 10 and 5 years, respectively.
Bahrain has the highest rate of drug-related deaths in the Arabian Peninsula, according to a United Nations (UN) report: here.
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Bahrain: Release Human Rights Defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja
Salem-News.com Eye on the World report.
Human Rights Defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja
(DHAKA- Bangladesh) – Bahrain should immediately and unconditionally release Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja from prison. He is well-known human rights defender and founder of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, former president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, and Mr. Al-Khawaja is a member of IFEX.
This courageous defender of the people’s rights in Bahrain and the Middle East and North Africa region is at huge risk of dying in prison.
Like the Palestinian activists Khader Adnan, and now Hana Al-Shalabi, he started a hunger strike. Since 8 February 2012, Mr. Al-Khawaja has stopped eating, he is now suffering deteriorated health, entering his fourth week without nourishment. In an open letter, Al-Khawaja pledged to stay on hunger strike until “freedom or death.”
Our goal with Eye on the World is to illustrate and highlight politically oriented problems and tragedies that traditional media channels don’t have time or interest in covering.
The world has its own set of laws that were agreed upon by the ruling nations in 1948, and many people are not aware of this simple fact. At the root of the concept of world citizenry itself, is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an overriding and supreme law that ensures many essential human rights that governments today fail to observe. Also central to any hope of human success, is the understanding of the human hierarchy of needs, as defined by Abraham Maslow- more information on this at the conclusion of this entry. We must use the Internet as a tool of justice at every junction, and we need to assist all human beings, everywhere, and not allow cultural, racial or religious preferences as determiners.
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
In this letter, William Gomes contacts His Majesty the King, Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa, in Bahrain, to respectfully demand the immediate release of Al-Khawaja, who should then be transferred to Denmark, where he is a dual citizen, to receive urgent medical treatment needed as a result of his lengthy hunger strike, in addition to the torture he endured while in detention, as documented by the BICI and human rights organisations.
Expressing deep concern about the health of human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Mr. Gomes urges the Bahraini authorities not to reject this humanitarian call.
March 6, 2012
His Majesty the King
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
Re: Bahrain: Release human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja
I call on the government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release from prison well-known human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, the founder of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and former president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, a member of IFEX. Al-Khawaja is a courageous defender of the people’s rights in Bahrain and the Middle East and North Africa region who is at huge risk of dying in prison, having started a hunger strike on 8 February 2012, and now suffering deteriorated health as he enters his fourth week without nourishment. In an open letter, Al-Khawaja pledged to stay on hunger strike until “freedom or death.”
According to his family and his lawyer, Al-Khawaja can no longer sit up for very long and spends most of his day lying down. The hospital clinic can no longer administer IV fluids as the activist’s veins are too weak. His condition is more severe, and similar to someone who has been on hunger strike for two months.
After being arrested in April 2011, Al-Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison in June 2011, as part of a group trial of 21 activists and human rights defenders charged with a range of offences related to their role in peaceful demonstrations in Bahrain in February and March. Human rights organisations and even the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) have said the trials did not comply with international standards of due process, nor even Bahrain’s own criminal code, because the 21 men were tried under National Safety Courts. While the BICI recommended the transfer of all cases for review under civilian courts, this has not been done for the case of the 21 activists.
I believe that the evidence is clear that Al-Khawaja and the other activists were sentenced in violation of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, contrary to international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Therefore, we respectfully demand the immediate release of Al-Khawaja, and transfer to Denmark, where he is a dual citizen, to get the urgent medical treatment he needs as a result of his lengthy hunger strike, in addition to the torture he endured while in detention, as documented by the BICI and human rights organisations.
I am deeply concerned about the health of human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and urge the Bahraini authorities not to reject this humanitarian call.
William Nicholas Gomes
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