5/28/2012

Bahrain activist Al-Khawaja to end hunger strike - lawyer


BBCNEWS

Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is to end his 110-day hunger strike on Monday evening, his lawyer says.

Mohammed al-Jishi made the announcement on the micro-blogging website, Twitter.
Mr Khawaja, a Shia Muslim, is an outspoken critic of Bahrain's ruling Sunni royal family and he has been convicted of trying to depose them.
Mr Khawaja's decision follows the release on bail of another detained Bahraini activist, Nabeel Rajab.
Mr Rajab was arrested on 5 May at Manama airport on his return from the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
He is charged with using social networking sites to incite illegal rallies and defame Bahrain's security forces.
Protest 'success'
Mr Khawaja, 51, began fasting as a protest against his imprisonment after being sentenced by a military court in June 2011.
Lawyer Mr Jishi told Reuters news agency: "The strike has generally achieved its results to shed light on the case of the detainees in Bahrain."
Mr Khawaja and 20 others were convicted of plotting to overthrow the state by the National Safety Court, a military tribunal. Seven of them, including Mr Khawaja, were sentenced to life.
But in April, Bahrain's highest court, the Court of Cassation, threw out their convictions and ordered a retrial, although they were not released.
At a court appearance last week Mr Khawaja was in a wheelchair.
Mr Rajab, who has 140,000 Twitter followers, is a vocal critic of Bahrain's ruler, King Hamad al-Khalifa.
Lawyer Mr Jishi, who also represents Mr Rajab, told AFP news agency that his client had been ordered to pay 300 Bahraini dinars ($796; £500) and still faces a travel ban.
Mr Rajab, a Shia Muslim and head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, last appeared in court on 16 May.
Since February 2011, Bahrain's government and Sunni ruling royal family have faced fierce opposition from mainly Shia activists.
Bahrain's monarchy has made concessions, but not enough to satisfy protesters. Bahraini security forces have repeatedly clashed with protesters.