In a series of tweets, Khadija Almousawi, wife of jailed hunger striker Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, confirmed that her husband had been “drugged, restrained, force fed and kept incommunicado for five days.” She reported that her husband, who has been on a hunger strike since 8 February of this year, and whom she refers to endearingly as ‘Hadi’, was very weak, as he has lost over 14kg.
Almousawi reports that he had been force fed: “He woke up after more than five hours, found himself in a different room restrained, with a tube down his nose, IV on both his hands and oxygen mask on his mouth. He started shaking the bed and trying to shout until a policeman came in.” When al Khawaja was finally permitted to see a doctor after the force feeding, Almousawi said, “Hadi told him that he will hold him, the hospital and [Ministry of Interior] responsible for that. He asked not to be force fed. The force feeding continued. Hadi says the whole procedure was very painful.” According to Khawaja, the doctors promised him the force feeding would stop if he would take juice. (Bahrain’s Defense Forces Hospital, where Khawaja is being treated, refuted his statements, saying in a statement to Reuters, “The patient has not been force-fed or treated against his will.”) Force-feeding is currently illegal under international law, as it causes extreme pain, internal bleeding, and introduces bacteria into the organs.
Almousawi reports that her husband has been allowed “no phone calls, no family or lawyer visits” and promised to tell the people about the force feedings: “Hadi told the doctor if what you did to me was right why was I kept incommunicado. If what you did is right, you should tell people about it. The doctor said that they will do it again if they have to.”
When she asked him if he would continue his hunger strike, Al-Khawaja replied, “Of course. All what they did, did not effect my soul. I will continue. I will continue until freedom or death. And no one can take this from me. What is happening to us is not right nor fair.”
Almousawi may be reached at her official Twitter.