Bahrain: Front Line fears for life of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja amid credible allegations of torture and sexual assault

Following reports of torture including an attempted rape against former Front Line Protection Coordinator Abdulhadi Alkhawaja there are grave concerns that his health and even his life may be in danger.

Further Information

Abdulhadi Alkhawaja has been held in detention in Bahrain since 9th April and has reportedly been subjected to torture which resulted in his requiring a 4 hour operation in a military hospital following injuries to his head. At a hearing yesterday the Judges refused to listen to his complaints of an attempted rape and refused again to order an investigation into torture. According to representatives of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja's family who were able to speak with him briefly yesterday (16th May) he was only able to resist the attempt by four men to rape him by banging his already damaged head against a concrete floor.

"Front Line holds Military Prosecutor Colonel Yusif Rashid Feleyfel directly responsible for the life and health of our friend and former colleague Abdulhadi Alkhawaja," stated Andrew Anderson, Front Line Deputy Director, "there should be an immediate investigation into the reports of torture and attempted rape and Abdulhadi Alkhawaja should have access to an independent medical assessment and treatment immediately." There are reports of at least four deaths in custody in the last six weeks amongst those detained by the Bahraini security forces.

Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is a former Protection Coordinator for Front Line and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). On the 21st of April 121 human rights defenders from across the Middle East and North Africa region issued a statement in his support.

For further information please contact: Jim Loughran, Front Line Head of Communications Tel +353 1 212 37 50