7 Apr 2012

Bahrain hunger striker hospitalised after 58 days

9:00 pm on 7 April 2012

A prominent Bahrain human rights activist has been hospitalised and is being fed intravenously after a nearly two month long hunger strike while in jail.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Bahraini authorities after helping to organise pro-democracy protests last year.

He has been on a hunger strike for 58 days, providing a focus for continued political protest, the BBC reports.

Mr Khawaja's family say he has been extensively tortured while in custody and is now weakened by loss of weight after more than eight weeks without eating.

His daughter Maryam al-Khawaja says the hunger strike is the only way he can carry on his protest.

"They took away everything from him that they could. They tortured him, they arrested him, they detained him and they put him on military trial," she says.

"The last thing he could use to protest and to bring attention to the human rights violations that are still ongoing on a daily basis in Bahrain, was to use the last thing he had control over which was his own body."