Rights groups fear for hunger strikers in Bahrain

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MANAMA — A rights group says two imprisoned pro-democracy activists on hunger strike to protest their detention in crisis-hit Bahrain have started refusing water.

Freedom House said in a statement Tuesday that it is “deeply concerned” for Zainab al-Khawaja and her father Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who started a hunger strike March 17 to protest. They went on “dry hunger strike” on Sunday after being denied a family visit in prison, it said.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights said doctors warned Zainab al-Khawaja that she risks “organ failure, cardiac arrest or coma” if she continues.

Al-Khawaja was sentenced to three months for insulting a public employee related to her calls for the release of her father, eight opposition figures given life sentences. Last year, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja went on a three-month hunger strike.

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