MANAMA (AFP) — More than one hundred prisoners are hunger strike in Bahrain after being jailed following a government crackdown on Shiite-led protests in February, an independent commission said Wednesday.
The Bahrain Commission of Inquiry said in an emailed statement that 84 inmates, including doctors and nurses who treated protesters and opposition figures, are on hunger strike in prison.
Seventeen others have been hospitalised by the ministry of interior due to their refusal to eat and their deteriorating health condition.
Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab told AFP this week that more than 200 Shiites jailed for their role in the month-long anti-government protests had joined the protest.
Rajab said the action was started last week by 12 of the 47 doctors from Manama’s Salmaniya hospital who were arrested during the crackdown on the Shiite-led protests.
The government has accused them of inciting the overthrow of the ruling Al-Khalifa family.
According to the statement, the commission has invited an international experts on hunger strikes to evaluate the health and well-being of the prisoners.
One expert, Dr. Sondra Crosby, was to be granted permission to visit all 101 prisoners to provide advice and counselling to the participants on the challenges of a hunger strike.
The commission, which has been charged with investigating the crackdown on protesters and opposition figures, is to release its findings in a report on October 30.
The commission says the entire report will be made public.
Twenty-four people died during the repression of popular protests between mid-February and mid-March, according to official figures from Manama. Four protesters have since died in custody.
(www.maannews.net / 07.09.2011)