Bahraini activist says threatened with rape


A prominent Bahraini human rights activist said he had been threatened with rape while in custody after he refused to apologise to the king over his role in anti-government protests. Human rights groups said Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, former president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), was removed from a military court on Monday on the third day of his trial after he told the judge about his treatment.
He said that despite prior complaints the court had not taken action to secure his safety. “The judge refused to listen to these statements and Mr. Alkhawaja was ordered out of the courtroom,” the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights said in a joint statement. The interior ministry media office said no one was available to comment on the report. Other officials could not be reached.
Khawaja is one of 21 activists charged with trying to topple the Sunni-led government during weeks of popular Shi’ite protests, calling for greater political freedoms, an end to sectarian discrimination and a constitutional monarchy.