Two Bahraini Shiite activists jailed for life in June for “plotting to overthrow” the Sunni ruling family have gone on hunger strike, the daughter of one of them told AFP on Saturday.
Human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and opposition Haq movement member Abduljalil al-Singace stopped eating on Tuesday in solidarity with detainees held at Bahrain’s Dry Dock prison, Zainab al-Khawaja said.
She said that the detainees, who were arrested as part of a March crackdown on Shiite-led pro-democracy protests, had called their hunger strike in protest at the government’s failure to honour promises to release them.
“I am concerned about my father’s health,” Khawaja said. “He was beaten when detained and his jaw was broken. They also beat him repeatedly on his jaw in court. The doctor had told him to eat well for his health to improve.
“He has already lost too much weight in prison and yesterday he called me and said his blood sugar level has dropped,” she added.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who also holds Danish citizenship, was jailed for life with Singace and six other opposition activists in June.
The Bahrain interior ministry says 24 people, including four policemen, were killed in the month-long protests that erupted in mid-February.
Security forces backed by troops from Bahrain’s Gulf neighbours crushed the protest movement.
The opposition says that scores of people were arrested, and many of them tortured. Hundreds more were dismissed from their jobs.
Four people have been sentenced to death and three to life imprisonment after being convicted of the killing of two policemen during the protests. Nine others were jailed for 20 years after being found guilty of abducting a policeman.