The U.N. human rights office is welcoming Bahrain's move to re-examine cases against activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and 20 others convicted last year by a military-led tribunal.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says Bahraini authorities have now "recognized the importance of moving away from military justice for civilians."

Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday there is no reason for al-Khawaja to be held "incommunicado" — and the jailed Bahraini hunger striker should have immediate access to family, a doctor, a lawyer and the Danish ambassador.

Denmark wants custody of al-Khawaja, who holds Danish citizenship and began a hunger strike Feb. 8.

Colville says al-Khawaja should be transferred to a civilian hospital.