Bahraini democrats climb London embassy

This video about Bahrain is called Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja hunger strike; Freedom or death race.

Bahraini pro-democracy demonstrators

From Associated Press today:

LONDON (AP) — Two protesters climbed onto the roof of the Bahraini Embassy in London on Monday, unfurling a banner in a protest aimed at the Gulf state’s ruling family.

An Associated Press photographer saw two men waving a flag on the building’s roof. On Twitter, a user identifying himself as Moosa Abd Ali said the activists had occupied what he called the “Al Khalifa den,” a reference to Bahrain‘s ruling family.

A banner draped over the building carried pictures of hunger striking human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and senior Shiite opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, both of whom were sentenced to life in prison in Bahrain after last year’s pro-democracy protests there.

“Over 60 days on hunger strike,” the banner read, in reference to al-Khawaja.

Activists climb roof of Bahrain Embassy to protest human rights violations and this weekend’s Grand Prix: here.

12 thoughts on “Bahraini democrats climb London embassy

  1. 5:11 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    UK: 2 held in protest vigil at Bahrain embassy


    The Associated Press

    LONDON — British police on Tuesday arrested two activists who had occupied the rooftop of Bahrain’s Embassy in a protest against the Gulf kingdom’s Sunni rulers.

    Belgrave Square is closed off by police as a man waves a flag during a protest from the roof of the Bahrain Embassy in London, Monday, April 16, 2012. The banner, draped over the top of the embassy, carried pictures of imprisoned hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and senior Shiite opposition leader Hassan Mushaima. Bahrain has been gripped by a 14-month-old uprising aimed at weakening the powers of the kingdom’s Sunni monarchy and the Gulf state has recently seen a spike in violence.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    The two men draped over the building a banner bearing pictures of hunger striking human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and senior Shiite opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, both of whom were sentenced to life in prison in Bahrain for their role in last year’s revolt by the country’s Shiite majority that has long demanded more political freedoms and opportunities equal to those of the ruling Sunni minority.

    The BBC and Britain’s The Independent newspaper both identified one of the protesters as Mushaima’s son, Ali. The BBC said the other man is 30-year-old Moosa Satrawi. British police would not identify the demonstrators or say whether they are from Bahrain.

    “Our demand is for my father and al-Khawaja to be freed,” The Independent quoted the younger Mushaima as saying in a telephone interview. “The rulers of Bahrain are dictators.”

    The two men, who had scaled the building Monday and threatened to jump off its roof, were taken into custody Tuesday after they surrendered and were not immediately charged, said London’s Metropolitan Police.

    Earlier, Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry urged Britain to protect its embassy and take legal action against the protesters. Bahrain is in the grips of a 14-month Shiite uprising against its Sunni rulers. The unrest could complicate efforts by Formula One to hold the Bahrain Grand Prix in four days.

    Thousands of opposition supporters have rallied against the F1 race set to be staged on Sunday in the tiny but strategically important Gulf kingdom that is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

    On Tuesday, protesters chanted anti-monarchy slogans and demanded the release of political prisoners, including Mushaima and al-Khawaja, who has been on more than two-month hunger strike.

    Human rights groups have urged Bahrain to free al-Khawaja, who is also a citizen of Denmark, warning that he could die in custody. Last week Bahrain’s government rejected a Danish request to gain custody of the activist and transfer him to Denmark for medical treatment.

    The Grand Prix is the nation’s biggest sports event, drawing a worldwide TV audience of about 100 million in 187 countries. Organizers canceled last year’s Grand Prix because of political unrest. At least 50 people have been killed during punishing crackdown by the Sunni-led government on dissent.


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