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Bahraini hunger striker briefly hospitalized

From Jennifer Deaton, CNN
Click to play
Mom's hunger strike to save family
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zainab Al-Khawaja's health has deteriorated
  • She refused an IV at the hospital
  • She was released back to her house

(CNN) -- A Bahraini hunger striker protesting the assault and detention of her father and husband was taken to hospital Sunday but was released after refusing an intravenous tube, a human rights activist told CNN.

Zainab Al-Khawaja was entering the sixth day of her hunger strike when her health deteriorated to the point that her family took her to the hospital, said Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. She was so ill that she could not talk or move, he said.

At the hospital, however, Al-Khawaja refused to allow doctors to administer an IV, and she returned home, Rajab said.

On April 9, at 3 a.m., masked officers burst into Zainab Al-Khawaja's home and assaulted her father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and her husband, Mohammed Al-Masqati, according to family members and human rights activists.

Zainab Al-Khawaja said the officers beat her father severely.

Abdulhadi Al-Khawajais a former president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. In February, he resigned from his position as director of the Middle East-North Africa region for the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders' Front Line organization.

The Bahraini government declined to comment on Al-Khawaja's case.

Human Rights Watch says Bahraini police forces have arrested more than 430 people in recent weeks, often violently and late at night.

Meanwhile, a human rights group on Sunday reported the arrest of a prominent defense attorney.

More than two dozen uniformed and plainclothes officers raided the home of lawyer Mohammed al-Tajer on Friday and arrested him, Human Rights Watch said. There was no reason given for his arrest, the organization said. Al-Tajer is one of several attorneys who have defended opposition figures and human rights activists arrested by the government.

 
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