Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Last Friday (January 31, 2020) was a gloomy day for Samaheej Village and dozens of activists in Bahrain after receiving the news of Hameed Khatem's demise.
Khatem (38) died after a struggle with stomach cancer, which he was diagnosed with while in prison. Khatem was serving a prison term over charges of "insulting the King" via Twitter.
Khatem was an athlete. He adored football and never missed a sports competition in his village. He loved his country and tirelessly took part in demonstrations and protest events. He had no hostility towards anyone.
There was a smile always drawn on his face. Despite his passion for political debates, he always expressed his views with a calm and low voice.
His determination to defend the political prisoners and oppressed people of his country led him to prison, where he lost his job and freedom. However, he remained so steadfast and felt no regret for what he wrote or posted in defence of his principles.
Former prisoner Sheikh Mohammad Mansi said he met Hameed Khatem in prison, where he was held in building 4, cellblock 5. Sheikh Mansi said that Khatem was healthy and active and played football enthusiastically, but after awhile he started suffering from abdominal pain, his energy decreased and fatigue started to appear on him. "Whenever I asked him how he was, he only showed patience with a calm smile despite his pain. He even irritated prison officers since he remained strong and walked with his head held high."
As hundreds of his companions who are imprisoned over political reasons, Khatem was denied treatment and suffered from medical negligence. His condition worsened until he reached stage 4 cancer when he left prison. He then traveled to India to receive treatment, where he remained for about 6 months before returning to Bahrain.
His ailment appeared again when he came back to Bahrain. He felt constant stomach pain but never complained in front of anyone. He was always smiling. He even said in a phone call he made with a friend of his one day before his death that he was fine and suffers from no pain.
Hameed was one of the good sons of Bahrain, a young man from a poor but generous family. Hameed was a young social individual, who had many friends. Everyone who knew him was aware that he was stubborn in defending his opinions and beliefs. He was also stubborn in his struggle with cancer which he fought for over three years. However, the disease defeated him. Hameed passed away leaving a wife and four children (two sons and two daughters), and hundreds of people, who loved him and are grieving their loss.