Anti-government protesters holding signs with images of Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja stand on a street near the British embassy during an anti-government protest in support of him, in Manama April 14, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday urged Bahrain to save a jailed activist on hunger strike whose health is now "a matter of the utmost urgency."
A day after protesters climbed onto the roof of the Bahraini embassy in London in support of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Ashton said there was "serious and profound concern" in the European Union about the case.
Al-Khawaja is a Shiite who was sentenced with other opposition activists to life in jail over an alleged plot to topple the Sunni monarchy during a month-long protest in 2011.
Ashton said his health is "seriously deteriorating and his life is at risk."
"The EU urges in the strongest possible terms the Bahraini authorities to find a compassionate, pragmatic and humanitarian solution... as a matter of the utmost urgency," she said.
The activist began a hunger strike on the night of February 8-9.