Bahrain: Bahrain: The Founder of the GCHR on Day 11 of his 5th Hunger Strike

23.04.17

The co-founder of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja has started a new hunger strike demanding that his human and civil rights be respected by the prison administration.

Please see below the latest updates that the GCHR has received:

12th of April (first day of strike):

Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja started his open ended hunger strike today in protest at continued arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment in Bahrain. His current weight is 63 kg and his height is 172 cm. His last meal was dinner last night. He's drinking water so it's not a dry hunger strike.

14th of April:

He is on his 3rd day of the hunger strike. He had to be moved to the hospital last night and given two bags of IV due to low blood sugar.

15th of April:

Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's blood sugar level has gone down to 2 mmol/L, he's refusing IV treatment.

19th of April:

When his blood sugar level dropped to 2 mmol/L he had intense stomach aches - so he started to slowly drink water with salt and it made it better. Now his blood sugar level keeps fluctuating between 2 and 3 mmol/L. Since the beginning of the hunger strike he wasn’t forced to wear shackles to see the doctor or go to the prison clinic. Yesterday afternoon he was informed of a decision that he has to be handcuffed to go to the clinic; and since then he hasn't seen a doctor. So since yesterday until now he has no information about his blood pressure or sugar level. Until day before yesterday his weight is 56kg, and his blood pressure 80-90/60-70 (mm Hg). He has intense pain in his lower back, the pain reminds him of when he had kidney stones previously; and has trouble urinating. Also since the beginning of the hunger strike he's been having muscle spasms - where if he folds his arm for example it'll spasm and it takes time before he can straighten it again. They've been trying to move him to the military hospital, but he's refusing due to the force feeding he was subjected to in 2012 at that hospital.

21st of April (and latest update):

Since the afternoon of April 18th until today he has had no contact with the prison administration and has not been taken to the prison clinic. He does not know what his current weight, blood sugar, or blood pressure rates are. After he ended his phone call to the family on the 19th April his condition began to deteriorate and yesterday morning (20th April) they brought an ambulance in an attempt to transfer him to either military or fort hospital. Because the doctor he spoke to previously told him that if he loses consciousness they would go ahead with force-feeding, he refused the transfer and remained in the jail. As he was worried that he would lose consciousness and be transferred against his will, he began to drink the necessary liquids to stay conscious. Since then, his condition has improved but he still suffers from exhaustion, general weakness, and dizziness.

The GCHR has one ultimate demand which is the immediate medical evacuation of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja outside Bahrain as his life is at imminent risk and he needs urgent, proper medical care.