Bahrain: Serious concern for the health of academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace


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RAN 46/10 – Update #8

06 May 2015

PEN International is seriously concerned for the health of prominent academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, who has been on hunger strike since 21 March 2015 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. He is serving a life sentence for his peaceful opposition activities. PEN International is calling 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. It also demands that Dr. Al-Singace receives full access to medical attention as a matter of urgency, and that his reports of ill-treatment in Jaw prison are fully investigated. 

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Please send appeals:

  • Expressing serious concerns for the health of academic, activist and blogger Dr. 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;
  • Calling 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.

Send appeals to:

His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O.Box 555
Rifa’a Palace
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
P.O.Box 450
Al-Manama
Bahrain.
Fax: +973 175 31 284

Dr. Salah Ali Abdulrahman
Minister of Human Rights and Social Development,
Ministry of Human Rights and Development
Manama
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 31 May 2015*** Please inform us of any action you take, and of any responses you receive.

SOLIDARITY ACTION:

  1. Please send messages of support to Dr Alsingace at:

The Gurayn Military Prison,
Manama,
Bahrain. 

Please also copy your message to cathy.mccann@pen-international.org so that it can be forwarded to his family.

  1. 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.

Background

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. Since then he has been denied access to medical care outside prison, and his family report that he is in very poor health.

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.

For more information on Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, please read PEN’s most recent alert on his case and the letter sent by the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International to Hillary Clinton expressing grave concern over the human rights situation in Bahrain.

For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: cathy.mccann@pen-international.org