Free Bahraini Prisoner of Conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace, On Hunger Strike 200 + Days
- UN, Ban ki-Moon, OHCHR, Navi Pillay, State Department, EU, European Parliament, UK Foreign Office
From English PEN: Wednesday, October 7 2015 marked the 200th day of Bahraini prisoner of conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace’s hunger strike. Dr al-Singace has boycotted all solid food in response to the ill-treatment of prisoners in Bahrain.
Twenty-one human rights organisations reiterate their call for his release in a joint statement published today. The NGOs ‘voice our solidarity with Dr al-Singace’s continued protest andcall on the United Kingdom and all European Union member states, the United States and the United Nations to raise his case, and the cases of all prisoners of conscience, with Bahrain, both publicly and privately.’ They call for his immediate and unconditional release.
Prison authorities appear to have finally begun to take notice of the international attention his case is attracting. Dr al-Singace recently received treatment for a nose injury he suffered during his torture in 2011. He had waited over four years to receive such treatment.
However, Dr al-Singace’s condition remains critical. He suffered damage to his ear as a result of torture, but has not received adequate medical attention for this injury. His family states that he is often dizzy, his hair is falling out, and that he is ‘on the verge of collapse.’
In the prison clinic, Dr al-Singace is not allowed to leave the building and is effectively held in solitary confinement. Though the clinic staff tends to him, he is not allowed to interact with other prison inmates and his visitation times are irregular. Authorities have now lifted an unofficial ban on Dr al-Singace receiving writing and reading materials, but access is still limited: prison staff have now given him a pen, but have still not allowed him access to any paper. The government has also denied Dr al-Singace permission to receive magazines sent to him in an English PEN-led campaign, despite promising to allow him to do so. He has no ready access to television, radio or print media.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy:
Dr al-Singace’s puts his life at risk for his belief in a torture-free and democratic Bahrain. To support democracy and reform in Bahrain, the United Kingdom and United States must call for Dr al-Singace’s immediate release.
Cat Lucas, Writers at Risk Programme Manager, English PEN:
We’re pleased and relieved that the prison authorities seem to be taking notice of the growing international support for Dr Al-Singace, having finally allowed him medical treatment and access to a pen in recent weeks. However, there is still a long way to go and the UK government has a crucial role to play. We urge them to join our call for justice for the many writers and activists detained in Bahrain.
WHEREAS: Dr Abduljalil al-Singace is a prisoner of conscience whose continued detention is ILLEGAL under Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a signatory;
AND WHEREAS: Dr al-Singace has been on a dangerous hunger strike for over 200 days to protest the injustice of his imprisonment, despite the fact that he already suffers ill health as the result of previous torture at the hands of his jailers;
THEREFORE: We, the undersigned, demand that the international community--and especially those western nations who count Bahrain as an "ally"--bring all possible pressure to bear upon Bahraini authorites to IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDTIONALLY release Dr Abduljalil al-Singace and all other prisoners of conscience, and end all practice of torture.
The Free Bahraini Prisoner of Conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace, On Hunger Strike 200 + Days petition to UN, Ban ki-Moon, OHCHR, Navi Pillay, State Department, EU, European Parliament, UK Foreign Office was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.