UN concerned about deteriorating health condition of detained Bahraini human rights activist Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: February 28, 2022
Arrests and sentencing due to his human rights activities:
The experts said in a memorandum sent to the Bahraini authorities on December 30, 2021, which has not yet been responded to, that Al-Singace is the director and spokesperson for the human rights office of the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy, and that he was arrested in August 2010, at Bahrain International airport after returning from participating in a seminar on the human rights situation in Bahrain at the UK House of Lords.
The experts added that Al-Singace was arrested again in March 2011 and allegedly forcibly disappeared for two months. During his disappearance, he was subjected to various forms of ill-treatment and was sentenced to life imprisonment on multiple charges related to terrorism and state security in June 2011.
The experts noted that Al-Singace’s case was included in the Secretary-General’s reports for 2021, 2012 and 2011, on cooperation with the United Nations in the field of human rights due to various allegations of reprisals for his participation with several United Nations mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review and treaty bodies.
Further deterioration and deliberate neglect:
The experts confirmed that since October 25, 2021, which is the date of the last memorandum sent to the Bahraini authorities about Al-Singace’s condition, there has been a further deterioration in his health; These included a sharp drop in his blood pressure, episodes of dizziness, seizures, shortness of breath, and a drop in his oxygen levels, what requires him to use an oxygen mask.
Also, on November 24, 2021, Al-Singace required intravenous support; however, he refused this assistance for about three weeks in protest of the refusal of video calls with his family that he was previously permitted weekly. He also stopped taking vitamin supplements as part of his protest.
Experts stated that Al-Singace remains in the Ebrahim Khalil Kando Community Medical Center, where he is being held under 24-hour police supervision, and doctors have reportedly reduced his attendance to one visit every two to three weeks, and he suffered more weight loss since the latest communication about his condition, with blood sugar levels currently dangerously low.
The experts also expressed their serious concerns regarding Al-Singace’s health and the confiscation of his research materials, expressing further concern about the alleged suspension of video calls with his family, stressing at the same time that the sentence under which Al-Singace remained in detention was based solely on his legitimate and peaceful call for protection of human rights in Bahrain.
UN demands from Bahrain:
The experts called on the Bahraini authorities to provide updated information on Al-Singace’s health status and the measures taken to ensure that he receives adequate and appropriate medical care and treatment.
The experts also called on Bahrain to provide details of the legal basis for any restrictions placed on Al-Singace’s video calls with members of his family, and how any such restrictions comply with Bahrain’s obligations under international human rights law, in particular the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
The experts also asked Bahrain to provide details of the legal basis for continuing to confiscate Al-Singace’s research materials, including information on how this action complies with Bahrain’s obligations under international human rights law.