Danish activist abused in Bahraini jail

Foreign minister Villy Søvndal calls on Bahrain to convict those responsible for torturing and sexually abusing political activist

(photo: Stephen Wright)
December 8th, 2011 1:04 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

An independent report has confirmed that Danish political activist and member of the Bahraini political opposition, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, has been subjected to torture, violence and sexual abuse while jailed in Bahrain.

In response, Danish foreign minister Villy Søvndal met his Bahraini counterpart in Bonn on Monday and demanded that those responsible be held accountable.

“It’s completely unacceptable that a society that purports to be part of the international community subjects its citizens to such treatment,” Søvndal told TV2 News. “It’s humiliating and insulting and they must stop.”

Søvndal met Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, at an international conference on Afghanistan. Khalifa said he would investigate the situation further.

Al-Khawaja – a human rights activist who sought political asylum in Denmark in 1991 and obtained Danish citizenship –  was arrested this April in Bahrain after participating in anti-government rallies. He was handed a life sentence in June.

The independent report, which was commissioned by the Bahraini government, outlined how al-Khawaja had been hit, kicked, thrown down stairs, had his jaw broken, and sexually abused while in prison.
Al-Khawaja has previously worked for Amnesty International which has since called on the Danish government to push for his release.

“We now have it in black and white that the Danish citizen Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been subjected to torture, sexual abuse, violence and degrading treatment,” Lars Normann Jørgensen, the general secretary of Amnesty International Denmark, told Berlingske newspaper.

“The Danish government needs to use every diplomatic opportunity to overturn al-Khawaja’s life sentence and have him unconditionally released,” Jørgensen said. “He is the definition of a political prisoner who has been tortured and sentenced simply because of his peaceful fight for reforms and human rights.”

(photo: Stephen Wright)
Danish summer the coldest for 24 years so far
If you thought June was particularly cold, grey and dismal this year, you a...
The two-storey apartment is in the plush Opus Hong Kong building located on a cliff side (photo: Exploringlife)
Dane buys Asia’s most expensive apartment
Asia's most expensive apartment, a 301 sqm luxury apartment in the middle o...
"Businesses in Copenhagen and Malmø now have increased opportunities," says bridge manager (photo: Marcus Bengtsson)
Øresund Bridge celebrates 15th birthday
Today marks 15 years since the Øresund Bridge was opened and the first car...
Police remained present at the scene until the situation calmed (photo: Heb)
Bloody brawl in Helsingør sends young man to hospital
A 19-year-old man was flown by helicopter to Rigshospitalet on Tuesday even...
The decision could lead to Ryanair flights being grounded in Copenhagen (photo: iStock)
UPDATE: Ryanair shuts down Copenhagen base
The Irish budget airline Ryanair has decided to close its Copenhagen hub wi...
As per usual, there is no shortage of nudity at this year's festival (All photos: Johan Karpantschof)
Roskilde Festival ’15 off to a flying start
Depending on your stamina, you're either nursing a hangover for the fourth...