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Jailed activists begin hunger strike

(BCHR/IFEX) - Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) calls for an urgent intervention from the international community to put an end to the continued violations of human rights, including the continued detention of hundreds of political detainees in appalling conditions, despite the acknowledgment of the BICI report that confirmed that they were subject to arrests and torture for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. The international community's silence over the Bahraini regime's continuous crimes is leading the people of Bahrain to take desperate measures and risking their own lives.

Fourteen activists who have been detained since last March have announced their intention to start a one-week hunger strike starting 29 January 2012 until 4 February to protest the continued suppression, including arbitrary detention, unfair trials, sentencing of innocent people for peacefully demanding their rights, and the continued policy of starving people through unfair dismissal and suspension from work.

There are concerns over the health of the activists who will be on hunger strike; AbdulJaleel AlSingace, who suffers from poliomyelitis, previously suffered a heart attack after going on an earlier hunger strike; Hassan Mushaima, 63 years old, was not able to receive the required medication for a cancer he had in 2010, and there are fears the cancer might return. Mohamed Jawad Barweez could be the eldest detainee, being over 65 years old; his family has raised concerns over his health as well. In addition, they still suffer from the effects of torture, as stated in the report of the independent commission of inquiry. It's not expected that medical care will be provided to them if needed at the prison, as was made evident in previous cases.

This hunger strike started in a wave by the political leaders who have been detained. Many prisoners, including those held in Jaw and the central region prisons, have announced their solidarity and will join this hunger strike. The families of the political leaders have also announced that they too will join, as will members of the Bahrain youth society for human rights.

BCHR holds the international community responsible for the consequences on the lives of the activists and political prisoners joining the hunger strike. BCHR calls for immediate urgent action and makes the following demands:

- The immediate release of all political detainees who have been detained, tortured and sentenced in unfair military trials for practicing a basic right and peacefully protesting.
- A stop to the continuing violation of human rights, including the violent suppression of peaceful protests, continued arbitrary detention, and unfair trials and sentencing.

The 14 activists on hunger strike:
1. Abdulwahab Hussain Ali (life imprisonment)
2. Ibrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa (5 years' imprisonment)
3. Hassan Ali Mushaima (life imprisonment)
4. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja (life imprisonment)
5. Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace (life imprisonment)
6. Mohammed Habib Al Safaf (Mohammed Habib Miqdad) (life imprisonment)
7. Saeed Mirza Ahmed ( Saeed AlNouri) ( life imprisonment)
8. Abduljalil Mansoor Makk (Abdul Jalil Miqdad) (life imprisonment)
9. Al Hurra Yousif Mohammed (2 years' imprisonment)
10. Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos (5 years' imprisonment)
11. Salah Hubail Al Khawaj (5 years' imprisonment)
12. Mohammed Hassan Jawad (15 years' imprisonment)
13. Mohammed Ali Ismael (15 years' imprisonment)
14. Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan (Abdulhadi AlMukhodher) (15 years' imprisonment)
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