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Hunger striker writes to Queen for help as he enters 4th week of protest

A BAHRAINI man on hunger strike outside his country’s embassy in London has written to the Queen pleading for her to help his father, a political prisoner who is at risk of dying in jail.

Ali Mushaima marked the start of his fourth week without food by urging the monarch to intervene to ensure his father’s basic needs are met by using her influence with the king of Bahrain.

He said he would “sacrifice his vital intake of sugars,” posing considerable risks to his health, if his demands for his father to be  treated humanely were not met by next week.

Mr Mushaima's 70-year-old father Hassan was imprisoned in 2011 for demanding human rights and democratic change in the Gulf kingdom.

Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy director Sayed Alwadaei said it was time that the Queen used her long-standing relationship with the Bahraini monarchy to support human rights reform.

He added: “Ali should not have to take further extreme measures to ensure that his father’s basic rights are met.”

The Bahraini government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have ignored Mr Mushaima’s requests, leading him to risk his life to get his message heard.

“This week, I will be celebrating Eid in Belgrave Square, rather than at home with my beloved wife and four-month-old daughter,” he wrote.

“While I will only be denied the comfort of home on this special day, at least I will be celebrating as a free man.

“My father, instead, is being forced to spend yet another Eid behind bars and separated from his family, who he has not seen for over 18 months.”

Mr Mushaima said political prisoners in Bahrain are forcibly chained and shackled if they want to see family members, but his father has refused to submit to this.

He added that the authorities are “slowly but deliberately” killing his father by denying him access to the medical care he needs.

“I hope Your Majesty makes it clear to the Bahraini king that the rights and dignity of a human being are non-negotiable and that the United Kingdom’s strong commitment to these principles goes far beyond historical ties and so will not be compromised,” he wrote.

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