Appeals court delays ruling on hunger striker


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The Independent Online

Bahrain's highest appeals court has delayed giving a verdict on a jailed hunger striker and other activists seeking to overturn their sentences linked to the Shia-led uprising against the Sunni monarchy.

The court, which had been due to give a ruling yesterday, set the next hearing for 30 April amid claims by the family of the hunger striker, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, that his health is in sharp decline 11 weeks into his protest.

Bahrain officials insist Mr Khawaja faces no immediate medical risks.

Mr Khawaja's case has become a focus of anti-government protests while adding international pressure on Bahrain's rulers. Earlier this month, Bahrain rejected Denmark's request to take custody of Mr Khawaja, who is also a Danish citizen.

"We consider the situation to be very, very serious," the Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said in a television interview. "We think we're talking about days during which action must be taken if anything is to be achieved in this case."