Concern for the safety of the imprisoned human rights defender D. Abduljalil Al-Singace has been on solid food strike since July 8, 2021, nearly two years ago, in protest against ill-treatment and the confiscation of a book he had spent 4 years writing. The book contains a study on linguistic diversity between Arabic and Bahraini dialects. He had handed him over to a prisoner after his release to be delivered to his family, but the prison guards under the supervision of officer Muhammad Yousef Fakhro, who works as responsible for Building No. 7, in which all the thirteen opposition leaders detained since 2011 reside, confiscated it during an inspection.
Al-Singace suffers from post-polio syndrome and various other health problems, and while he is unable to move, the prison administration insists on not providing him with the necessary rubber braces that he needs for his crutches.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn, previously considered that the detention of any person because of his work in the field of human rights is an appalling violation of international human rights law.
Rapporteur Cowen said, on Saturday, April 15, through a video circulated by activists on Twitter, that one of the many achievements of the United Nations Disability Treaty is the focus on public participation and involvement, pointing out that there can be no more important participation than that related to human rights issues.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had raised its concern for Al-Singace’s safety, and published on June 6, 2023 on its website a statement documenting Al-Singace’s exposure to violations during his imprisonment, including ill-treatment and medical neglect. The Panel found that Al-Singace’s detention was arbitrary under the first, second, third and fifth categories. He also expressed his deep concern about his health, which is deteriorating as a result of his ongoing hunger strike. He called for his immediate and unconditional release and for him to be guaranteed access to appropriate medical care.
After his arrest in 2011, Al-Singace was subjected to unfair trials and was prevented from meeting his lawyer. On June 22 of the same year, the National Military Safety Court sentenced him to life imprisonment on charges related to freedom of opinion and expression. On September 28, the Military Court of Appeal upheld Al-Singace’s life sentence, regardless of his special health condition.
In the Kano Medical Center, Al-Singace lived on drinking tea with milk and sugar and taking vitamins. However, the management of the center harassed him by not regularly providing him with sugar and milk in an attempt to force him to end his hunger strike. As a result, Dr. Al-Singace suffered from low blood sugar levels and low blood pressure. Blood shiver in his eyes and chest. Moreover, the authorities do not give him adequate treatment for the prostate, nerves, and joints that he suffers from, and his family does not share the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images that he took months ago, and Dr. Al-Singace has not been able to visit his appointed doctor since January 2022.
In addition, the Director of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nedal Al-Salman, confirms that the detention of any person for his human rights work is a gross violation of international human rights law, and that the continued detention of Al-Singace in inappropriate conditions that may sometimes amount to ill-treatment is a crime.
While the Bahrain Center for Human Rights is closely following the deterioration of the conditions of detained figures and prisoners of conscience, it calls on:
- The Bahraini authorities to immediately release all prisoners of conscience, led by symbols, especially Dr. Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace, who has special needs due to his health condition and his hunger strike.
- The international community, especially the member states of the European Union and the United States, to press for an end to the harsh sentences against symbols and to stop their imprisonment on political grounds.
- Authorities to allow United Nations rapporteurs to visit Bahrain, especially the special rapporteur on torture, and to meet with prisoners of conscience to assess their suffering.