Bahrain: Human rights defender Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace remains on hunger strike after six weeks
As of 19 August 2021, imprisoned human rights defender Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, an academic and blogger, has been on hunger strike for six weeks. He began a liquids-only hunger strike on 08 July 2021 to protest ill-treatment and harassment in Jau Prison, including the confiscation of a book he has written on Bahraini dialects and culture. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) calls on the authorities to immediately free Dr. Al-Singace, and failing that, to respond to his demands so he will end his hunger strike.
As of 18 August 2021, Dr. Al-Singace had lost 18kg and the IV drip has been removed because it was causing pain, reports his family. He is currently in Kanoo Medical Centre for monitoring. "He is having difficulty sleeping due to the constant presence of guards in his room, who frequently disturb him," says his family, noting that guards are stationed in his room 24 hours a day and are harassing him.
Dr. Al-Singace is only allowed to see his family once every two weeks, while other inmates receive visits twice a week. Guards also harass him during telephone communications with his family, cutting his calls short and occasionally cutting off his calls with his wife or son completely.
Dr. Al-Singace’s family reports that "Despite the mistreatment, [he] remains resilient and intends on continuing his hunger strike until his demands are met." They thank everyone for their support and ask them to continue their advocacy.
Dr. Al-Singace began the hunger strike on 08 July 2021 to protest ill-treatment, including the confiscation in April 2021 of a book he spent four years writing for his family about Bahraini dialects and accents.
Dr. Al-Singace, a member of the Bahrain 13 (a group of activists and human rights defenders including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja), was sentenced to life in prison on 22 June 2011 for his role in peaceful protests that took place in Bahrain in 2011.
GCHR is concerned that Dr. Al-Singace’s already compromised health will suffer irreparably if he does not eat or take his medication.
Take Action Now!
GCHR asks supporters of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace to please tweet in English or Arabic calling on the authorities in Bahrain to:
- Immediately and unconditionally free Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and all other human rights defenders including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja from prison;
- While in prison, allow Dr. Al-Singace and all prisoners unhindered access to medical care and medical equipment; and to ensure they are not subjected to ill-treatment and abuse;
- Hand over Dr. Al-Singace’s research to his family; and
- Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.