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Bahrain activist 'getting VIP care in hospital’

Manama, May 2, 2012

High-Profile prisoner Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, who has allegedly been on hunger strike for more than 80 days, is receiving "VIP treatment" in hospital, said a report.

Doctors said they were frustrated by reports he has been mistreated, according to a report by the BBC.

Staff at the BDF Hospital also denied allegations that the prisoner had been force-fed, it said.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner and producer Mark Georgiou were given access to Al Khawaja for five minutes yesterday.

According to the journalist, the prisoner - who was one of eight men jailed for life for being part of a plot to forcibly overthrow the monarchy and having links to a foreign terrorist organisation - was dressed in overalls and sitting on the edge of his bed, unrestrained.

Al Khawaja reportedly told him he had been walking for three days and the BBC reporter said he appeared thin, but alert.

Gardner also backed claims by doctors that the opposition figurehead had been drinking fluids and said staff told him the prisoner was drinking regular nutritional supplements.

Retrial

On Monday, the Cassation Court ordered a retrial in the case against Mr Al Khawaja and 20 others convicted of being part of the plot.

It cast doubt on a verdict reached by the National Safety Court last year and means the case will now be heard in a civilian court.

Our sister publication the Gulf Daily News reported last Friday that the prisoner had been receiving fluids intravenously throughout his hunger strike, according to well-placed sources. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Court | BDF Hospital | Prisoner | Al Khawaja | BBC report |

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