Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bahraini Activists

Yesterday, my post featured the video Shouting in the Dark. Today, I would like to talk a little bit more about what is happening in Bahrain, and to feature one family's protest especially. 

The al-Khawaja family is a well-educated Bahraini family that has been a major advocate of human rights. Most outspoken in their work have been the father, Abdulhadi, and the daughter, Zainab. Zainab was educated in the United States, and in fact my father knows her fairly well from her time there. Because of that, I first learned of her story last summer. Her father had been imprisoned, and she was hunger striking for his release, despite the fact that she had a year-old daughter. 

Now, her father, still in prison, is 60 days into a hunger strike and is very weak. He refuses to stop the hunger strike until he is released. Zainab has been arrested twice within the past few days for attempting to see her father, who is in a military hospital. Updates are being posted on Zainab's twitter. 

This is not just an issue for Bahrain, or for the human rights community. This is a human issue. The imprisonment of people who have done nothing more than attempt to make themselves heard. So I would like to do my part to make them heard--if not by the Bahraini government, by people. The international community. Knowledge is power; anyone who can spread knowledge of what is happening in Bahrain is in a position to empower those who are fighting on the ground. This issue has been so largely ignored by the media and the international community, and now is the time for that to stop. 

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