#KillingKhawaja trends worldwide amidst growing campaign for his release

The calls to release activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja in Bahrain are growing by the day. The 51 year old Bahrani-Danish citizen has been on a hunger strike for over a month now. Al Khawaja was arrested in April 2011 and has been sentenced to life imprisonment in June. On Tuesday, Bahrainis world over united together trended the hashtag #KillingKhawaja worldwide in an orchestrated campaign to draw attention to the hunger strike of imprisoned human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.

The campaign came alive as Al-Khawaja entered his 33rd day of his hunger strike to protest against his detention in Jaw prison and human rights abuses in the kingdom. Al-Khawaja is currently serving a life sentence on charges of terrorism and planning to overthrow the government.

In an ‘open letter’ letter written from prison on Feb. 8, 2011 the Danish citizen has asked the government of Denmark for an EU intervention and stressed on the human right violations in Bahrain.

An online campaign is underway in Bahrain with leading human rights activists and citizens raising their voice to free the activist. #HelpKhawaja and now #KillingKhawaja is trending and many people have changed their twitter profile pictures with that of Al Khawaja. Numerous people have lost their lives in Bahrain and many jailed since anti-government protests began in Bahrain on February 14, 2011.

One of Al-Khawaja’s daughters Zainab, also a prominent Bahraini human rights activist and blogger, brought her family’s personal suffering to the hashtag.



Other prominent Bahraini human right defenders showed their support to the campaign including Maryam Alkhawaja ‏daughter of Al-Khawaja.


Bahrainis pinpointed on Government nailing on release of Al-Khawaja

However, some doubted on the credibility and effectiveness of the campaign; Andy Carvin, Senior strategist at NPR one of them.

In no time Andy Carvin tweet was responded by the campaign supporters.



Tweets whistled targeting to international media organizations asking them to give coverage to the issue



Quite a few high profile journalists including New York Times’ foreign correspondent Nick Kristof joined the campaign to gain attention for Al-Khawaja

Far too soon, campaign achieved its aim and #KillingKhawaja was trending worldwide.

About a month back, Al Khawaja wrote a letter to the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, highlighting his plight and the plight of other Bahraini dissidents:

Source: Frontline Defenders via Scribd

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