15 January 2016 — Marking 300 days of hunger strike, forty-four international NGOs call for the immediate release of Bahrain prisoner of conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace.
Dr al-Singace has foregone food and subsisted on water and IV fluid injections for sustenance since 21 March 2015. He began his hunger strike in protest to the worsening conditions in Jau Prison, after prison officials subjected inmates to collective punishment, torture and humiliating practices.
Within days of his strike, Jau Prison authorities transferred him to the Qalaa hospital, where he is still being kept in a form of solitary confinement. He sees his family only irregularly, is not allowed to interact with other patients, and has been denied necessary treatment.
Dr al-Singace is a member of the Bahrain 13, a group of thirteen peaceful political activists and human rights defenders sentenced to prison terms for their peaceful role in Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests in 2011.
The NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, PEN International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, have therefore called for his immediate release, for his medical needs to be met, and for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.
Carles Torner, PEN International Executive Director: “The fact that Dr al-Singace remains in prison for his peaceful activities is completely unacceptable. Bahraini authorities seem determined to stifle critical voices through use of violence and intimidation. Dr al-Singace and all other prisoners of conscience should be immediately and unconditionally released.”
Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for Committee to Protect Journalists: “Dr al-Singace isn’t just refusing food to improve his own situation, but the situation for all political prisoners held in Bahrain, one of the leading jailers of journalists per capita in the world.”
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy for the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy: “Dr al-Singace is a hero who gives us hope every day. His sacrifice resonates with us all and is a symbol for those seeking a bright future for Bahrain.”
Read the statement here.