Bahraini activist to call off hunger strike
Please click to enlarge the image.
Jailed Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja will end a more than three-month-long hunger strike on Monday evening as he had succeeded in drawing attention to the issue of imprisoned activists, his lawyer said.
Khawaja, who is also a Danish citizen, is a leading figure in Shi'ite Muslim-led pro-democracy protests that erupted last year in Bahrain as a wave of uprisings swept through the region.
"Starting this evening he will stop his hunger strike ... the strike has generally achieved its results to shed the light on the case of the detainees in Bahrain," Khawaja's lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi told Reuters by telephone from Manama.
A vocal rights activist believed to have been tortured in the first weeks of his detention, Khawaja received a life term for charges including attempting to topple the monarchy. He went on hunger strike on February 9.
Earlier on Monday, prominent Bahraini opposition activist Nabeel Rajab, who was accused of organising illegal protests and insulting authorities in the Gulf Arab state, was freed from jail after being granted bail.
Bahrain's Shi'ites complain they have long been marginalised in political and economic life, which the government denies. But there has been no progress on the main opposition demand for a parliament with full powers to legislate and form governments.
Bahrain, a US ally and home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests led by Shi'ites erupted last year after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.
The country's rulers have rejected opposition calls for an elected government and protests and clashes with police continue.
The authorities have dubbed the opposition Iranian lackeys because most of them are Shi'ites, like most people in Iran.