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Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja

Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja

HRD, Founder
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights
Dignity World Without Torture Award

On October 30th, Danish-Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja received the ‘World without Torture’ award in recognition of his struggle for human rights and democracy in Bahrain.

Politikken Freedom Award

Politikens Frihedspris (Freedom Prize) honours "exceptional individuals or organisations struggling to defend or win freedom under hazardous conditions".


Freedom House Freedom Award

The Freedom Award is an acknowledgment begun by Freedom House in 1943 to extol recipients’ invaluable contribution to the cause of freedom and democracy.


If I die, I ask the people to continue on path of peaceful resistance. I don't want anybody to be hurt in my name.

Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is a former Middle East and North Africa Protection Co-ordinator for Front Line Defenders and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). He is the founder of Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR).

He is also a member of the International Advisory Network of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, headed by former Irish President Mary Robinson. He has previously worked with Amnesty International, and was named as ‘Activist of the Year’ in 2005 by the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists.



On 5 April 2021, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja celebrated his 60th birthday and 4 days later, on 9 April 2021, he marks another anniversary date. That of 10 years in detention in Bahrain. Front Line Defenders together with family, friends and colleagues created this birthday tribute video to send a message of hope, encouragement and appreciation to Al-Khawaja, and to reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release.

Bahrain Protest Context

In 2011 Bahrainis initiated protests, as part of what became known as the 'Arab Spring', aimed at promoting reforms in the country and demanding full rights for all citizens. Human rights defenders, medical workers, journalists and others were rounded up in the crackdown that followed, with many ultimately facing trials on trumped up charges and imprisonment.