6 November 2015
RAN 46/10 – Update #9
PEN International welcomes the Bahraini authorities’ decision to permit prominent academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace to attend his mother’s funeral, who passed away on 29 October 2015. Dr. al-Singace was returned to prison after attending his mother’s funeral on 2 November. He is serving a life sentence for his peaceful opposition activities. Dr. al-Singace spent over 200 days on hunger strike in protest at conditions in Jaw prison. Dr Al-Singace requires specialist medical treatment for ongoing health problems, some of which result from torture and ill-treatment in prison. PEN International continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and all those detained in Bahrain in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party.
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Please send appeals:
- Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Abduljalil al-Singace and all those detained in Bahrain in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party;
- Expressing serious concerns for the health of academic, activist and blogger Abduljalil al-Singace, who is in need of urgent medical treatment;
- Demanding a full investigation into reports that Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace and others are being ill-treated in prison.
Send appeals to:
His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
Kingdom of Bahrain.
Fax: +973 176 64 587
Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Fax: +973 175 31 284
Dr. Salah Ali Abdulrahman
Minister of Human Rights and Social Development,
Ministry of Human Rights and Development
Kingdom of Bahrain
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Bahrain in your country if possible. A list of embassies can be found here.
***Please contact PEN International if sending appeals after 6 December 2015*** Please inform us of any action you take, and of any responses you receive.
- Please send messages of solidarity to firstname.lastname@example.org so that it can be forwarded to his family.
- Elect Dr al-Singace as an Honorary Member of your Centre and by doing so provide long term support and advocacy for him and his family. For details of the International PEN Honorary Membership scheme, read the PEN WiPC Guide to Defending Writers Under Attack (Part V, pgs 15-20). Please let us know if you do so and we will ensure that your Centre is networked with others working on his case.
Blogger and human rights activist Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace was sentenced by a special security court in June 2011 to life imprisonment for his peaceful activities; the verdict was confirmed by the appeal court on 4 September 2012. He was sentenced together with another 12 activists, including human rights defender and blogger Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who is also a PEN main case.
According to PEN’s information, Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace was taken to al-Qala’a hospital on 1 April 2015, four weeks after starting a hunger strike in protest against the deprivation of basic rights and ill-treatment of prisoners in Jaw prison. Dr al-Singace is disabled, and suffers from a number of serious long-term health problems including disc problems in the lower back and neck, heart problems, nasal sinus inflammation and an enlarged prostate. A recent medical test showed he had a urinary tract infection and a low white blood cell count. He was previously hospitalised in mid-September 2014 for investigation into ongoing problems resulting from a seriously damaged ear-drum which is believed to have been caused by torture and ill-treatment in Jaw prison in 2010 and 2011.
For more information on Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace, please read PEN’s most recent statement on his case and the letter sent by the former Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International, Marian Botsford Fraser, to Hillary Clinton expressing grave concern over the human rights situation in Bahrain.
For further information, please contact Emma Wadsworth-Jones at PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK, Tel.: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, Email: Emma.Wadsworth-Jones@pen-international.org