Ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski,
We are writing this letter to you on behalf of the people of Bahrain to express our deep concern with the deteriorating health of world-renowned human rights defender Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, who has been on hunger strike for the past 56 days in Bahrain demanding nothing more than freedom.
Mr. AlKhawaja was arrested April last year. He was beaten so brutally at the time of arrest that it resulted to fractures on his face and jaw which left permanent damage. His case is mentioned in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report as Case No. 8, where it was proved that he was subjected to severe torture on a nightly basis and put in solitary confinement for two months. Mr. AlKhawaja was then sentenced to life imprisonment in an unfair military trial along with 13 other opposition leaders, accused with baseless charges of financing and participating in terrorism to overthrow the government, as well as spying for a foreign country.
As of the last few days, Mr. AlKhawaja has given up glucose and thus has been hospitalized due to a significant deterioration in his health. Doctors have told his family they expect him to fall asleep into a permanent coma. The Bahraini authorities refuse to acknowledge the severity of Mr. AlKhawaja’s case. More than 50 rights groups have called for his release, yet there has been no response from the government.
Yesterday we attempted to conduct a sit-in at your headquarters in Manama urging the U.S government for actions towards Mr. AlKhawaja’s release, yet we were forced to leave, some of who were even arrested. Sir, isn’t that a violation of our basic freedoms? Shouldn’t you be allowing us to practice the rights you stand for? The United States government, which has proved to be a beacon of democracy and freedoms throughout the years, is surprisingly ignoring this dying man’s plea.
You must acknowledge that if anything happens to Mr. AlKhawaja, the situation in Bahrain will get much worse. It is to everyone’s best interest for him to be released and transferred to Denmark for treatment. We are writing to urge you to pressure the Bahraini government for his immediate release not only because he is a human rights defender, but because he is simply a human who’s life and freedom is of great value to us, and should be to you as well.
We hope you will exercise the needed pressure on the Bahraini authorities for Abdulhadi AlKhawaja’s immediate and unconditional release.
Thank you for your consideration,
Letter from the people of Bahrain