Press release March 19, 2015
Bahrain Should Immediately Release Abdulhadi al-Khawaja
In response to Bahrain's continued imprisonment of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The continued incarceration of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a leader of Bahrain's pro-democracy movement, is an outrageous miscarriage of justice that makes clear the determination of Bahrain's rulers to crush peaceful dissent,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “Freedom House calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Al-Khawaja and all other political prisoners in Bahrain.”
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for his peaceful participation in the 2011 protests against the Bahraini government. He has been subjected to torture while in prison and began a water-only hunger strike on March 2, 2015, to protest the mistreatment of political prisoners. Authorities have also detained Abdulhadi’s daughers, Maryam and Zainab, several times for peaceful dissent. The al-Khawaja family received Freedom House’s 2012 Freedom Award.
Bahrain is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.
Photo Credit: Abdulhadi Al khawaja is pictured (left) with Margaret Sekaggya, Photo Courtesy of Frontline Defenders (Flickr/Creative Commons)