DUBAI: A nearly three-month long hunger strike has turned activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, awaiting a final court ruling on Monday along with 14 other jailed activists, into a symbol of Bahrain’s uprising that began last year.
One of their lawyers told AFP on Sunday that he expects the case, now in Bahrain’s highest appeals court, the Court of Cessation, to be reviewed.
The 52-year-old father of four, on hunger strike since February 8, is among 21 activists — seven of them tried in absentia — who were convicted in June of plotting to overthrow the Gulf kingdom’s rulers. Seven of them, including Khawaja, have been jailed for life while 14 others were sentenced to between two and 15 years in prison.
Khawaja, arrested in last April shortly after the Sunni regime crushed a month-long Shiite-led uprising, will continue his hunger strike — the fourth since his arrest — until he is “released or dead,” sources close to him say.
I “don’t know if he’s alive, don’t know if he’s awake, don’t know if he’s in Bahrain… I don’t know anything about him,” his wife Khadija Moussawi told AFP.
She said she has not heard from her husband since April 23, two days after he decided to stop drinking water. Authorities have repeatedly said that Khawaja is in good health. But Moussawi, who met her husband for the first time in London 30 years ago, doubts it.
“They say he is in good health, but if that’s true, then why won’t they let me speak to him, why won’t they let me see him?” she asked. Their daughter Zeinab was also arrested on Saturday after taking part in an anti-government sit-in.