PLEASE CIRCULATE AND ENDORSE
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(ADDRESSES, EMAILS, ETC. BELOW)
FREE MARYAM AL-KHAWAJA, ABDULHADI AL-KHAWAJA
AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN BAHRAIN!
A joint statement by the MENA Solidarity Network-US and the Syrian Revolution Support Bases, August 31, 2014
On August 26th, leading human right activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, serving a life sentence for peaceful advocacy of human rights in Bahrain, began an open-ended hunger strike. This follows a 110-day hunger strike two years ago. Due to the drugging and forced feeding of his last hunger strike, he will refuse to be taken to hospital or prison clinic or to receive IV treatment. The previous hunger strike left him in a severely weakened condition, and there are fears that he could succumb at any moment.
On August 27th, Abdulhadi phoned his family. His voice was weak and he told them that he was losing weight rapidly, and that his blood sugar levels and his blood pressure had dropped.
In that situation his daughter Maryam, a fellow human rights activist and co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, sought to fly home to be with her father and family.
On arrival at the Bahrain airport, regime officers took away her Danish passport (she is a dual Danish/Bahraini citizen) and told her that her Bahraini citizenship had been revoked. She was thrown into prison and told she would come before a judge on Sunday, August 31st. A few hours later she was told that her case will be investigated for seven days, and that charges would be filed against her for:
1) The Wanted for Justice campaign (a very successful project which educated people around the world about regime members who were violators of human rights and perpetrators of detention, torture, murder and other crimes.)
2) Insulting the King
3) Assaulting a police-woman
Additionally, Maryam has been denied access to lawyers and her phone taken from her.
In response to these violations of her rights, Maryam launched a water-only hunger strike.
The initiators of this statement – the Middle East-North Africa Solidarity Network-US and the Syrian Revolution Support Bases – have been honored to have presentations by Maryam at our educational events and to benefit from her insights and inspiration. Our groups share Maryam’s sentiment that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” and, like her, we have stood up for the rights of all victims of repression no matter the claims of the regime perpetrating it.
Those of our members in the U.S. feel a particular sense of responsibility to aid those jailed, beaten, tortured and killed in Bahrain, as that country hosts the base of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, the launching pad for any counterrevolutionary attacks the US may want to make anywhere in the region. That strategic value of Bahrain explains why Washington’s firm ally Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain to quell its uprising for freedom, justice and equality. But the masses of Bahrain have not stopped demonstrating for one day since the US-backed Saudi invasion despite daily regime attacks. We know also that Saudi capital, as part of Gulfwide capital, is ever more central to the region’s economy and thus to the US, which is yet more incentive for the US to turn a blind eye to human rights violations there.
600 other Bahraini political prisoners have been on hunger strike since August 20th to protest life-threatening conditions, insults, beatings, torture and more. (See http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/7018 )
PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY AND UNTIL MARYAM, ABDULHADI, AND ALL BAHRAIN’S POLITICAL PRISONERS ARE FREED!
Please immediately contact the following, with copies to your elected officials and State Department or Foreign Ministries:
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1766 4587 (keep trying)
Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1723 2661
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1753 1284
If your group can organize a picket, here is a list of Bahrain embassies around the world with locations, telephone numbers etc.