Already a Bloomberg.com user?
Sign in with the same account.
Bahrain’s opposition criticized the government over its treatment of a jailed activist who has been on hunger strike since February.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who was jailed for taking part in protests against the government last year, has been transferred to the clinic of the Public Security Fort for constant medical observation and care, the Information Affairs Authority said in an emailed statement today. His hemoglobin levels are low though not critical and he has been taking fluids, mineral supplements, glucose and juice on a daily basis, the statement said.
Al-Wefaq, the largest opposition group, said in an emailed statement yesterday that al-Khawaja’s continued detention was a “reckless disregard for human life and a clear and loud violation of the human conscience.” It said that any deterioration in his condition will aggravate the situation in the country and “the regime is responsible for the consequences.”
Al-Khawaja began a hunger strike on Feb. 8 to protest against the life prison term he was given by a military court. He was among hundreds of Bahraini activists arrested in March and April last year for their alleged involvement in a month of mass protests led by members of the country’s Shiite Muslim majority.
Tensions have simmered in the island nation since the government cracked down on last year’s demonstrators, who took to the streets to demand democracy and equal rights. At least 35 people were killed between Feb. 14 and April 15 last year, according to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the unrest.
The opposition says more than 30 others have died from tear gas inhalation and torture. Small-scale protests are still taking place daily in Shiite villages and sometimes spill over into the capital, Manama.
To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu Nasr in Manama at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Louis Meixler at firstname.lastname@example.org