Abdulhadi is a heroic human
rights activist. A previous article discussed him and his ordeal in
April 11 marks his 63rd hunger striking day for justice - if he's still
alive. Bahrain won't clarify beyond a short less than reassuring statement.
Ruling Al-Khalifa despots keep brutalizing him. They want him dead and
Among his many distinguished credentials, he co-founded the Bahrain
Center for Human Rights (BCHR. He also served as its first president.
On April 9, his lawyer, Mohammed Al-Jeshi, expressed fear he died.
"Authorities have been refusing since (Sunday) all requests, made by
myself and by his family, to visit or contact" him, Jeshi said.
"We fear that he might have passed away as there is no excuse for them
to prevent us from visiting or contacting him."
He and family members are even denied permission to speak to him. Government
spokesman Abdulaziz bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa (a royal family member) claims
In fact, without food for two months he's close to death. His vital
organs deteriorated. He could expire any time, may already have, and
Bahrain's concealing its crime against humanity.
It's one of thousands in the past year alone. The Al-Khalifa monarchy
is one of the world's most ruthless dictatorships. It's also a close
Washington ally. US media scoundrels ignore Abdulhadi's abuse and other
Amnesty International (AI) calls him a prisoner of conscience and demanded
his immediate unconditional release. He's a Danish national. Denmark's
request to extradite him was denied.
Bahrain's Supreme Judiciary Council said Criminal Procedures Law stipulates
that releasing convicted persons to other countries doesn't apply to
him. No reasons were given. It's clear they want him silenced. In other
words, better dead than heard.
Danish Foreign Minister, Ole Engberg Mikkelsen, said there's little
time left. "It is a case where the clock is ticking. We are continuing
our efforts to convince Bahrain that it is in everyone's interests that
he be extradited."
Campaigns on his behalf continue. Thousands of Bahrainis protest daily
for him. State and Saudi security forces confront them violently. Injuries,
some deaths, and arrests follow.
Bahrain's largest opposition movement, Al-Wefaq, said authorities "signed
his death" sentence. In Cairo, his daughter Maryam said her sister saw
him earlier. She said "he was so weak he could barely breathe. He sa(id)
if he dies, he will die with dignity."
Despite repeated requests, family members now can't see or speak to
him. On Sunday, his doctor said the hospital IV drip can't keep him
On April 9, a London Guardian open letter headlined, "Abdulhadi al-Khawaja's
death would be a stain on Bahrain," saying:
"Bahrain risks instigating a collapse of its civic society if it fails
to release this respected human rights activist and hunger striker."
It continued, saying:
"We, the undersigned, call on the government of Bahrain to immediately
and unconditionally release leading human rights activist Abdulhadi
al-Khawaja, whose life is now in grave danger as he enters the 61st
day of his hunger strike, begun in protest at his detention and treatment."
If he dies, Bahrain "will signal a total failure of political will in
addressing the human rights violations that occurred in 2011."
"Mr al-Khawaja is deeply revered and respected by much of the population
of Bahrain, as well as the wider region and world. His death could dangerously
inflame national tensions which are already escalating."
Before his ordeal, he was a renown national figure. He's now known and
respected internationally. His death won't go unnoticed. His treatment
symbolizes state brutality.
The letter concluded calling urgently for his release. On April 10,
it was delivered to Bahrain's London embassy. It was signed:
The Right Honourable Lord Avebury
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Richard Burden MP
Front Line Defenders
Doctors in Chains
Professor Sajjad Rizvi (University of Exeter)
Professor Scott Lucas (University of Birmingham)
Professor F Gregory Gause III (University of Vermont)
Professor Craig Toby Jones (Rutgers University)
Professor Khaleel Mohammed (San Diego State University)
Dr Christopher Davidson (Durham University)
Dr Mike Diboll (formerly of University of Bahrain)
On April 9, The Project for Middle East Democracy (POMED) sent Obama
a similar letter. It urged he publicly call for Abdulhadi's immediate
unconditional release, and permission to travel abroad for urgent treatment.
Like Bahraini despots, Obama also wants him silenced. He supports the
regime's worst crimes. His own hands are bloodstained. He's a war criminal
multiple times over. He plans more across the region and elsewhere,
including police state harshness in America.
Barring something unexpected and quick, Abdulhadi's fate may be sealed,
but not his spirit and influence. Many others will continue in his absence,
thousands of Bahrainis among them.
For over a year, they rallied daily for justice. Their liberating struggle
continues. Harsh brutality hasn't stopped them. They won't quit now.
A Final Comment
After 43 days, Israel released Palestinian hunger striker Hana Shalabi.
She was lawlessly deported to Gaza. She's not quite free at last. Her
liberating struggle also continues.
On April 9, she spoke with Electronic Intifada contributor Rami Almeghari.
She's currently being treated at Gaza's Al-Quds Hospital.
The circumstances around her Gaza exile are "controversial." Hana wants
the truth explained. Israel claimed she agreed to deportation. She was
mislead and lied to.
Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) also expressed
concern she may have been deceived or coerced to go along. Under Fourth
Geneva and other international law, exile from home territory is illegal.
Amnesty International (AI) called it "forced deportation." Hana wanted
to go home. She lives in the West Bank. Israel banished her for three
years. Its deals are systematically violated, including numerous past
conditional releases like Hana's. Expect permanent exile. She's also
vulnerable to rearrest or assassination.
In her own words, she said:
"When I was liberated to Gaza, I was feeling sad as my parents met me
briefly at the Israeli Erez (crossing into Gaza). Meanwhile, I felt
so happy to be among my other family in Gaza, especially those belonging
to the Islamic Jihad."
She wants her Palestine Prisoners Society lawyers to explain their deal
on her behalf. She had no say. She wants the "mystery" "clarified."
She ended urging "all young men and women in Palestine to further support
the prisoners issue by holding or organizing more activities that are
aimed at helping lobby until all prisoners are released from the occupation’s
"I would like to advise young Palestinian generations to keep up the
struggle and never fear Israeli detention. Just be steadfast, just be
steadfast and you will eventually win your freedom."
Like Abdulhadi, other Palestinian hunger strikers, and all wrongfully
imprisoned victims worldwide, Hana's liberating struggle continues.
She's not quite free at last.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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