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

PEN is deeply concerned for the health and wellbeing of prominent Bahraini academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, currently detained in Jau prison serving a life sentence for his peaceful opposition activities. According to the family, Dr. Al-Singace was urgently transferred to a military hospital last week. Doctors indicated that he had suffered severe dehydration. On March 12th, 2017, prison authorities reportedly refused to allow Dr. Al-Singace to attend a hospital appointment as he refused to wear the prison uniform and handcuffs. Dr. Al-Singace has long required specialist medical treatment for ongoing health problems, some of which result from torture and ill-treatment in prison. PEN International calls for Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace to be granted access to all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency, and continues to call for his immediate and unconditional release, as well as 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:

  • Expressing serious concern for the health of academic, activist and blogger Abduljalil Al-Singace, urging the authorities to permit him access to all necessary medical care
  • 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
  • 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
    P.O.Box 555
    Rifa’a Palace,
    al-Manama,
    Kingdom of Bahrain.
    Fax: +973 176 64 587
    Salutation: Your Majesty

    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

    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 16 April 2017*** Please inform us of any action you take, and of any responses you receive.

    SOLIDARITY ACTION:

    Please send messages of solidarity to emma.wadsworth-jones@pen-international.org so that they can be forwarded to his family.


    BACKGROUND
    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 September 4th, 2012. Dr. Al-Singace is a member of the “Bahrain 13”, a group of thirteen peaceful political activists and human rights defenders, including Ebrahim Sharif and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, sentenced to prison terms for their peaceful role in Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests in 2011. Dr. Al-Singace was awarded the Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award by the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, and was named one of Index on Censorship’s 100 “free expression heroes” in 2016.

    According to his family members, Dr. Al-Singace was urgently transferred to a military hospital from Jau prison’s clinic last week after he fainted. Doctors indicated that he had suffered severe dehydration. The doctor is reported to have prescribed medication, including antibiotics, and fluids. On March 12th 2017, Dr. Al-Singace was due to attend a hospital appointment, however, the prison authorities reportedly refused to allow him to attend as Dr. Al-Singace had refused to wear the prison uniform and handcuffs.

    Dr. Al-Singace has long required specialist medical treatment for ongoing health problems, some of which result from torture and ill-treatment in 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. In April 2015, Dr. Al-Singace was taken to al-Qala’a hospital, four weeks after starting a hunger strike in protest against the deprivation of basic rights and ill-treatment of prisoners in Jau prison. He was previously hospitalized in mid-September 2014 for investigation into ongoing problems resulting from a seriously damaged eardrum which is believed to have been caused by torture and ill-treatment in Jau prison in 2010 and 2011.

    For more information on Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, please read PEN’s most recent statement on his case.