Hunger strikes and social media
Hunger strikes and social mediaNetizens are amplifying activists' hunger strikes via online campaigns.
Badeeah Shalabi holds a placard depicting her daughter, Palestinian detainee Hana Shalabi, in the West Bank village of Birqin, near Jenin February 27, 2012. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini
March 5 marks the 25th day of activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja's hunger strike against what he claims are human rights violations by the Bahraini government.
Hunger striking as a means of protest has gained more attention in recent months. Just do a quick internet search and you’ll learn about Mehdi Khazali, an imprisoned Iranian dissident who has been on a hunger strike for 57 days. You’ll also come across Hana al-Shalabi, a Palestinian woman entering her 19th day of a hunger strike while under administrative detention in an Israeli prison.
Online social networks have not only helped spread and keep these activists’ stories alive, but they also have become an important step in the survival of the protesters themselves, as in the case of Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan.
But what makes some online campaigns more successful than others? Does media attention provide a certain level of protection to activists? What do you think? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.
Here is a sample of current online campaigns for hunger strikers: