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Bahrain: Prominent Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab on Hunger Strike
On 5 October 2012, imprisoned Bahraini human rights defender Mr Nabeel Rajab went on a hunger, water and medicine strike in protest of denying him the opportunity to attend the 3-day ritual mourning gatherings for his deceased mother.
After having been permitted to attend to attend his mother's funeral on 4 October 2012 , Mr Rajab was told that he would not be permitted to attend the remaining mourning sessions after he made a brief speech at the funeral praising the peaceful resistance of the population. The authorities had previously stipulated that he would be allowed to attend all three days.
On 5 October, Public Prosecution Chief, Mr Wael Buallay said that Mr Nabeel Rajab violated the terms of his humanitarian release after delivering a speech, which incited mourners to stage illegal protests.
Mr Rajab started his full hunger strike (no food, no water, no medicine) to protest the arbitrary decision by the authorities.
Nabeel Rajab is President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights. He has campaigned around the world to bring attention to human rights abuses in Bahrain, including the case of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.
Following his wife's visit on 4 September 2012, Sumaya Rajab confirmed that Nabeel Rajab has been subjected to ill-treatment in the form of humiliating personal inspections. He also suffers from kidney problems and gallbladder stones.
In light of the ongoing imprisonment and ill-treatment, as well as his poor health condition of Nabeel Rajab, Front Line Defenders expresses serious concern for his physical well-being. Front Line Defenders reiterates its earlier calls on the Bahraini authorities to quash the conviction of Nabeel Rajab and not to punish him for exercising his right of freedom of expression, to drop any outstanding charges against him and to effect his immediate and unconditional release.