Abdulhadi Al Khawaja

Happy New Year Abdulhadi

In Scotland we have a tradition of coming together to celebrate Hogmanay. It is a time to celebrate friendship, for Auld Lang Syne, and to think of our hopes and resolutions for the New Year.

This will be the third New Year that my friend and former colleague Abdulhadi Al Khawaja will celebrate in prison in Bahrain where he is serving a life sentence for speaking out for human rights.

Bahrain: Joint letter Sent To High Representative Catherine Ashton ahead of EU-GCC Ministerial Meeting.posted on: 2013/04/15

A joint letter has been sent to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton ahead of a European Union (EU) – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ministerial meeting scheduled to take place in Manama on 1 July 2013. The letter has been signed by 6 human rights organisations including Front Line Defenders.

Bahrain: Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja - A Decent Man.

On this day two years ago Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was staying in his daugher's house when police broke violently into the house in the middle of the night and arrested him.

As one of the most respected and outspoken human rights defenders in the country Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was automatically on the list of those to be rounded up in the clampdown after the Pearl Roundabout demonstrations in 2011.

The fact that Abdulhadi was a peaceful family man who had never used or advocated violence seems to have had no relevance for the Bahraini authorities. Their only objective seems to have been to silence the voices of critics of the regime and crush the demonstrations for democracy and human rights.

But they didn't just arrest him. Abdulhadi was beaten and abused, denied access to family or lawyers and subsequently needed a 4 hour operation in a military hospital as a the ill-treatment he received in custody. Since then he has been sentenced to life imprisonment after a trial which can only be described as a farce - a conviction which was subsequently upheld on appeal.

Bahrain: Abdulhadi and Zainab Al-Khawaja on hunger strikeposted on: 2013/03/21

On 17 March 2013, human rights defenders Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Zainab Al-Khawaja began a hunger strike to protest against a new requirement by prison authorities that they wear prison uniforms.

Bahrain: Joint Statement Supported by 44 Countries Expressing 'Serious Concern' over Human Rights Situation in Bahrain posted on: 2013/03/07

On 28th February, a joint statement was delivered by Switzerland in the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of a group of 44 countries including all 27 member states of the European Union and the United States, expressing 'serious concern' over the human rights situation in the country.

Bahrain: Arrest of human rights defender Ms Zainab Al-Khawaja, while Court of Appeal rejects two appeals against prison sentencesposted on: 2013/03/01

On 27 February 2013, human rights defender Ms Zainab Al-Khawaja was arrested by security forces during a peaceful sit-in in front of the Royal Palace in Al Qudaybiyah. Meanwhile, on 28 February 2013, the Court of Appeal rejected an appeal lodged by the human rights defender against a sentence of two months imprisonment, while an appeal against another one month imprisonment sentence was also rejected by the Court.

Denmark: Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal maintains the pressure on Bahrain two years after the popular uprisingposted on: 2013/02/14

On the two year anniversary of the popular uprising in Bahrain the Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal has stated that: "Unfortunately things are moving in the wrong direction. That is why we have to sustain the pressure on the government in Bahrain”.

Exclusive: Maryam Al-Khawaja Speaks to Front Line Defenders After Return from Bahrain - Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja on Hunger Strikeposted on: 2013/02/12

Facing possible arrest, Maryam Al-Khawaja travelled to visit her family in Bahrain, including her imprisoned father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and sister, Zainab Al-Khawaja, who faces ongoing trials for her human rights work.  Despite the risk, Maryam was able to enter the country for two weeks after almost two years in exile.  She visited her father in prison and left to continue her efforts to campaign for Bahraini human rights around the world.

Bahrain: Statement by Front Line Defenders as Final Appeal of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja Rejected posted on: 2013/01/07

On 7 January 2013 the highest appeal court in Bahrain upheld the sentences of 13 activists, including prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, a former Protection Co-ordinator for Front Line Defenders and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR).

Bahrain: Update – Sentencing and extended detention of human rights defender Ms Zainab Al Khawajaposted on: 2012/12/17

On 13 December 2012, human rights defender Ms Zainab Al Khawaja's pre-trial detention was extended by the Public Prosecutor's Office until 27 December 2012. The decision follows charges brought against her on 10 December 2012 for alleged “incitement of hatred against the regime” in connection to her arrest the previous day.