Ailing Kuwaiti activist ends hunger strike amid growing local and international support

May 18, 2010

A Kuwaiti activist detained since last week on charges of instigating to overthrow the regime has ended his hunger strike, his lawyer said.

Mohammad Al Jassem went on hunger strike on Wednesday one day after he was summoned by the state security to be quizzed over statements he said and wrote and which were deemed offensive. He was arrested pending investigation of the case.

However, Al Jassem rejected the charges, saying they were politically motivated and went on a hunger strike despite his weak heart. His family said that they would hold authorities responsible for his deteriorating health, especially that he had a heart condition and refused to take his medicine to protest against the accusations.

“I have been able to see Mohammad after I received permission from the public prosecutor. He has ended the hunger strike following strong advice from his doctors,” Jasser Al Jadii, his lawyer, said. “He is also now taking his medicine and he is in high spirits and in good health,” he said.

The public prosecutor on Saturday ordered that Al Jassem be detained for 21 days.

However, the lawyer expressed concerns that his client would be harmed if he had to mix with people arrested in espionage cases.

A popular committee called for a rally in Kuwait City to demand that Al Jassem be allowed to go home and an assortment of Gulf intellectuals and journalists issued a statement supporting the Kuwaiti activist. In Paris, Reporters Without Frontiers, an international media watchdog, has called for his release.    






About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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