Bahraini-Danish human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja reinstated his fasting protest on September 21, 2023, after prison authorities reneged on their promises including to transport him and other prisoners to appointments without handcuffs and in regular vehicles. His health remains critical due to his cardiac condition which has led to three emergency visits to hospital. He began his fast on August 9 to protest his continued denial of access to medical care and in solidarity with hundreds of prisoners in Jaw Prison.
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Crown Prince and Prime Minister
Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
Court of the Crown Prince
P.O Box 29091, Riffa – Bahrain
Email (via contact form): http://www.crownprince.bh/en/contact
Bahraini-Danish human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, 62, has been arbitrarily imprisoned since 2011 for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression during the 2011 popular uprising in Bahrain. He began a fasting protest on August 9, joining hundreds of prisoners in their mass hunger strike, but his fasting has exacerbated his cardiac condition.
On September 20, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja signed a document suspending his fasting protest after two prison officers promised Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja that all the prisoners held in the building housing him and the other opposition leaders, would no longer be transported to their appointments handcuffed and on board an armored bus and that he will soon have an appointment with a cardiologist and other specialists. The next day, one of his co-prisoners was due for a hospital appointment. When he arrived at the prison transport gate, the guards said that they knew nothing about the promises made to the prisoners. As a result, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja resumed his protest for the third time because prison authorities reneged on their promises.
We call upon your Highness to ensure that Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is immediately and unconditionally released. In the meantime,, we urge you to ensure that the promises made to him and other prisoners of timely access to adequate health care and in regular transportation are met, and that he is protected from further torture and other ill-treatment.