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Lawyer:

Jailed Bahraini rights activist Khawaja feared dead

10 Apr 2012 10:56

Source : Press tv

The lawyer of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on a hunger strike for over two months to protest against his detention, says the Bahraini rights activist is feared dead.

Bfnews: Al-Khawaja’s lawyer Mohammed al-Jeshi said on Monday that Bahraini authorities have turned down repeated requests to contact him since yesterday and that no information was available on Khawaja's health.

"Authorities have been refusing since yesterday (Sunday) all requests, made by myself and by his family, to visit or contact al-Khawaja," al-Jeshi told AFP.

"We fear that he might have passed away as there is no excuse for them to prevent us from visiting or contacting him," he added.

Manama authorities have yet to response to allegations that Khawaja has died in prison.

Khawaja, the co-founder and former president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, began a hunger strike in early February to protest against the life sentence he received last year and Manama’s ongoing crackdown on peaceful protests.

Bahrainis have held several demonstrations in support of him after his refused to eat, urging the government to release him.

Amnesty International has also called for the ‘immediate and unconditional release’ of al-Khawaja, considering him a ‘prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.’

Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison by a military court last April for "plotting to overthrow the government" but according to Amnesty, his conviction was based on a confession he made under duress, and no evidence was presented showing he had used or advocated violence during the mass anti-regime protests.

Meanwhile, protesters have gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, calling on the international community to support the revolution in Bahrain.

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