06 November 2015 – London, The Bahraini authorities should release prominent academic, activist and blogger Dr Abduljalil al-Singace immediately and unconditionally and cease all judicial harassment against him, PEN International, English PEN and Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said today.
According to recent reports, Bahraini authorities temporarily released Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, and his brother Abdulali Al-Singace, to attend their mother’s funeral, who passed away on 29 October 2015. PEN has long been calling for Dr Abduljalil al-Singace’s release who has been on hunger strike since 21 March 2015 in protest at conditions in Jaw prison.
‘Dr Abduljalil al-Singace is a prisoner of conscience and has suffered enough. His only crime – if it can be called a crime – is to exercise his right of freedom of expression Bahraini authorities must overturn his conviction and sentence and release him without any conditions restraining his freedoms.’ – Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee.
‘I was honoured to speak to Dr al-Singace on his temporary release for his mother’s funeral. If there is hope for democracy, it is only because of people who are so brave, who have sacrificed everything for a better Bahrain. Though he given up his freedom, he has won the moral victory.’ – Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, BIRD
Dr Abduljalil al-Singace is a prisoner of conscience and a member of the Bahrain 13, a group of activists arrested by the Bahraini government for their role in peaceful protests in 2011. Dr al-Singace is a blogger, academic, and former Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bahrain. Dr al-Singace is currently serving a life sentence ordered by a military court on 22 June 2011.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry met with Dr al-Singace in 2011 and collected testimony regarding his arbitrary arrest and torture. Despite the existence of this testimony, in 2012 a civilian appeals court refused to investigate Dr al-Singace’s credible allegations of abuse and upheld the military court’s decision. Dr al-Singace has received no compensation for the acts of torture that he suffered, nor have his torturers been held accountable for their actions.
On 21 March 2015, Dr al-Singace began a hunger strike in protest at the collective punishment and acts of torture that police inflicted upon prisoners following a riot in Jaw prison earlier that month.