This blog is in solidarity with Bahraini hunger striker Abdulhadi Al Khawaja. We will be posting peoples’ letters in solidarity with him as well as updates on his situation.

“Abdulhadi Al Khawaja is a Bahraini human rights defender who was arrested in April 2011, beaten and tortured during the crackdown against those calling for reform.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment after a grossly unfair trial. Despite the recommendation (#1720, p. 423) in the Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) that all those who had been tried by military courts should have their cases reviewed by ordinary courts, this has not yet occurred.

Abdulhadi launched his fourth hunger strike in eight months on 8/9 February and has declared that he will pursue this strike to freedom or death.”

For more information check: http://www.bahrainhrd.org/abdulhadi.html


One thought on “About

  1. Tom Rizzo says:

    5 April 2012

    Abdulhadi Al Khawaja

    Esteemed Mr. Al Khawaja:
    I wanted to write to express my solidarity with and admiration for your incredible efforts to advance the cause of human rights in Bahrain and the world in general.

    Although I have never met you or any member of your amazing family, I cannot adequately express the esteem and respect I have for all of you. Your love – not just for your country, but for the cause of human rights in many countries – is so tangible and such an inspiration for so many people, do you have any idea?

    I was sad when I heard your hunger strike started. A free and democratic Bahrain – which is coming as sure as day follows night – so needs and would benefit from your extraordinary determination, wisdom, and tenacity. I had a feeling, knowing how disdainful the Al Khalifa government is of decency, human rights and the preciousness of human life, that your hunger strike would result in your death. The government would have loved to have killed you itself, but deep in its sordid bowels, knows that it could not have survived such a craven action. I fear that it is taking great pleasure in the knowledge that you chose to starve yourself to near death.

    I continue to pray that you will end your hunger strike, or that somehow the government will come to its senses and release you before it is too late. Your birthday today was such a frustrating and sad day, culminating with the detention of your amazing daughter Zainab.

    I am so angry and disappointed in my government. Our system ensures that only very wealthy people can rise to high positions. These people have generally avoided joining the 21st Century so far. They live in a time warp, having been swamped by events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, they have no idea how to grasp the concept that the people of the middle east are fed up with being subjects. Our political class is beholden to the Israel lobby, and so petrified of Iran (despite the fact that President Bush pursued an Iranian dream foreign policy, toppling governments in Iraq and Afghanistan which provided a counterbalance to Iranian regional aspirations), and so in love with Saudi Arabia’s dictators and their influence over the world petroleum market, that the democracy dreams of Bahrain’s people have been sold down the river. I am embarrassed by U.S. policy in Bahrain, and I fully expect a democratic Bahrain to expel the Fifth Fleet from Manama, because at its time of need, the U.S. chose the corrupt status quo, and refused to hear the cries of your people, who simply wanted the sort of freedoms that scores of millions of Americans take for granted.

    You are a true inspiration. I think of you and your family at many times throughout each day. God willing, I hope to meet you one day, shake your hand, look you in the eye, and thank you for being such a beacon of hope in our troubled world.

    In solidarity, respect, and enormous admiration.

    Tom Rizzo
    Akron, Ohio, USA

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