UN concerned about deteriorating health condition of imprisoned Bahraini human rights defender Abduljalil Al-Singace
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: January 18 2022
UN experts have expressed their concerns about the deteriorating health of imprisoned Bahraini human rights defender, Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, Director and Spokesperson of the Human Rights Bureau of the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy.
Arrest and trial for human rights activity:
In a memo sent to the Bahraini authorities on November 15, 2021, the experts explained that in August 2010, Al-Singace was arrested at Bahrain International Airport after returning from participating in a seminar on the human rights situation in Bahrain in the UK House of Lords.
The experts added that Al-Singace was arrested again in March 2011, and allegedly disappeared for about two months. During his disappearance, he was subjected to various forms of ill-treatment. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on multiple charges related to terrorism and state security in June 2011.
A hunger strike and the deterioration of his health:
Experts noted that on July 8, 2021, Al-Singace informed his family that he would start a hunger strike to protest the ill-treatment he was subjected to in Jau Prison, and the alleged confiscation of papers on linguistic diversity in Bahrain that Al-Singace had written over the course of four years in prison. On July 18, 2021, he was transferred to the Kalaa Hospital after losing more than eight kilograms since the start of his hunger strike, and he remained in the hospital for about a week, before being transferred to the Ibrahim Khalil Kando Community Medical Center, where he has remained since.
Experts pointed out that since Al-Singace was transferred to Ibrahim Khalil Kando Community Medical Center, he has been suffering from vertigo and muscular pain, and has been unable to stand and needs a wheelchair to move around rather than using his crutches, and as of October 25, 2021, he has lost 20 kilograms of his weight. His health greatly deteriorated.
The experts expressed their concern about Al-Singace’s deteriorating health condition, the alleged arbitrary confiscation of his research work, and the detention that appears solely based on his legitimate call for the respect and protection of human beings in Bahrain.
UN demands from the Bahraini authorities:
The experts called on the Bahraini authorities to provide information on the factual and legal basis for the alleged confiscation of Al-Singace’s research materials and the refusal to return them, and to clarify how these measures are consistent with Bahrain’s obligations under international human rights law.
The experts also called on Bahrain to provide detailed information on the measures taken to ensure that Al-Singace receives health care and appropriate medical treatment due to his medical conditions, especially since the start of his hunger strike.