Sri Lankan born man rearrested in Qatar goes on hunger strike

A Sri Lankan born man rearrested after previously being incarcerated and released, has gone on hunger strike in Qatar in protest against his arbitrary detention, a UK based independent advocacy organisation said.

CAGE said that the family of M. R. Fhazi are increasingly worried for his well being as he enters the 34th day of a hunger strike.

Fhazi was initially arrested on the 27th July 2020 and released following 6 months of intense investigations in torturous conditions. Since his rearrest in March 2021, he has languished in custody despite no charges being brought against him.

He began his hunger strike on the 1st of May and his health has been deteriorating since.

CAGE said that Fhazi has lost 13kg since, he is unable to perform any physical tasks, has severe cramps in his muscles, his hair is falling out and his skin is very pale. The authorities maintain regular medical checks on his vitals, but they also use this as a means to deprive him from sleep and have also forcefully administered a drip to him.

“The Qatari authorities are continuing to detain a man who they determined was no risk and released only 3 months ago after 6 months of arbitrary detention. We demand that Mr Fhazi be immediately released and reunited with his family. Arbitrary detention is illegal and a severe violation of a person’s rights,” CAGE Casework Manager Naila Ahmed said.

Fhazi’s wife, and mother of their 7 -month-old baby said she was devastated with all that has been happening to her husband.

“My husband is innocent, he has never been charged however he is being held indefinitely with no clarity of why he continues to be arbitrarily detained. I have no idea what is going on and why this is happening to us,” she said.

Fhazi’s wife said her husband has gone on a hunger strike as a last resort having not found any other means to protest the violations to his fundamental rights and freedoms. (Colombo Gazette)