Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, 50, is a prominent human rights defender and the founder and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.
He started a hunger strike on 8 February 2012, to protest his own detention and that of several other activists arrested last April.
After 5 weeks of hunger strike he is now so weak that he can barely stand.He has lost 14 kg weight so far.He has started to refuse medical examinations - his last one was almost a week ago and is now threatening to refuse water as well.
Al-Khawaja can no longer sit up for very long and spends most of his day lying down. The hospital clinic can no longer administer IV fluids as the activist's veins are too weak. His condition is more severe, and similar to someone who has been on hunger strike for two months.
Early on April 9, 2011, fifteen masked men stormed into Mr. Alkhawaja’s daughter’s apartment, breaking down the door with a sledgehammer. The masked men did not produce identification or an arrest warrant.
His family says the abuse continued after his arrest. Al-Khawaja was admitted to a military hospital last year with a cracked jaw and skull, among other injuries, and reportedly underwent four surgeries.
The activists were tried by a military court in May, charged with "organising and managing a terrorist group", among other offences.
Al-Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison in June 2011, as part of a group trial of 21 activists and human rights defenders.
Amnesty International has described some of the detainees as "prisoners of conscience" convicted simply for attending protests.