Date of Arrest: 17 March 2011
Prison Sentence: Life
Torture: Severe battery, sexual abuse, forced standing
Health: Needs specialist health care for his disability
Abduljalil Abdulla Al-Singace was born 15 January 1962 and is a Bahraini human rights activist, engineer, and blogger. Al-Singace earned his Ph.D from the University of Manchester Institute of Technology and went on to be a professor and head of the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bahrain. He held that position until 2005, when he was summarily dismissed by the head of the university, allegedly at the request of the Prime Minister. Al-Singace was also a Board member of the Bahrain Academic Society, head of the Human Rights Bureau, and official spokesman for the Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy. He maintained a blog called Al-Faseelah, which was critical of the lack of freedom in Bahrain, that included news, human rights reports, poems, videos, and portraits, as well as articles published by him and others.
Al-Singace was arrested in January 2009, on charges that he had participated in a “terror plot” and that his blog articles had “incited hatred against the regime”. His blog was subsequently blocked by the authorities a month after he was arrested. Al-Singace was released soon after. In August 2010, Al-Singace was arrested at Bahrain International Airport following a trip to London, where he spoke at a conference at the British House of Lords criticising Bahrain’s handling of human rights issues. Following his arrest, he was incommunicado until February 2011, during which time he reportedly suffered physical and psychological torture.
Al-Singace was again arrested on 17 March 2011, after taking part in peaceful protests calling for democracy. Four dozen security forces, some plain-clothed and some speaking Saudi, broke into his house in the middle of the night and pulled him from his bed, pointing rifles at his head. A family member stated: “I saw them drag [Al-Singace] in his underwear and without his glasses, with a gun pointed at his head”. He was taken to a detention center where he was blindfolded, handcuffed, and beaten in the head with fists and batons. Al-Singace was then taken to a police station where he was subjected to verbal abuse and threats that included raping his daughter, calling him the son of a whore, and telling him that he does not deserve to live. Despite being disabled, Al-Singace, when at Al-Qurain military prison, was forced to stand on his good leg without crutches for prolonged periods and masked men would kick him in his good leg until he collapsed.
Al-Singace is currently being held in Jaw Prison and suffers from poliomyelitis, which has caused him to become significantly impaired physically, and suffers from heart, eye, and sinus problems. The BICI report revealed that whilst in prison, Al-Singace was put in solitary confinement for two months in a two meter by three meter dark cell and was verbally, physically, and sexually abused, and that he received little food which resulted in a 10 kilogram weight loss. He has also been denied an appropriate cane or wheelchair for his condition. The authorities refusal to provide Al-Singace with medical care has led to the rapid deterioration of his health. His wife and daughter have been denied visits and his eldest has been arbitrarily imprisoned due to his ties to his father. In June 2011, Al-Singace was sentenced to life in prison in an unjust military court trial with the charge of “plotting to overthrow the government.”
Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry
(Examined by forensic team)
Date of statement: 3 August 2011Statement: On 17 March 2011, security forces entered the witness’s home, pulled him from bed and pointed rifles at his head. The men presented no identification or arrest warrant. There was no abuse to his family. The detainee was pushed into the back of a van and forced to lie down while his hands were cuffed with plastic handcuffs.He was taken to the police station where they removed his handcuffs and gave him his crutches. He was accused of being a traitor and subjected to verbal abuse and threats such as the following: “Your daughter is being raped from the back and we will start doing it from the front”; and “You are a son of a whore and you don’t deserve to live.” He was made to stand outside facing the wind for prolonged periods. He heard other detainees being cursed and heard Shia defamation. He was verbally abused and sexually molested with a finger thrust into his anus. He was beaten with hands and shoes, and was forced to lick the shoes and wipe them on his face. A man placed a pistol in his mouth and said, “I wish I could empty it in your head.”He was then taken to Al Qurain Prison and beaten along the way. He was placed in solitary confinement from 17 March until 17 May in a cell measuring 2m x 3m. There were no lights in his cell. Initially there was only a sponge to sleep on and no blankets. He was not allowed to wash until his 11th day in detention. The temperature was cold and there was wind, sand and insects. A group of masked men spat on him and called him a traitor and a son of a whore. They threatened him with rape and made sexually explicit comments about his wife and his daughter. They took his wooden crutches away and made him stand on one leg for prolonged periods. They kicked him in his good leg until he fell down. He was beaten with batons and a shoe every night and he sustained an injury to his left rib as a result. His crutch was pushed into his genitals. They poured water on him and on his sleeping sponge several times. On one occasion he was forced to sleep on ceramic tiles. He was forced to repeat the national anthem whenever the main door was opened. His prayer rituals were interrupted. He received little food and consequently lost over 10 kilograms. He was told to apologise to the King on camera but he refused.The detainee experiences discomfort in his right shoulder, which is bruised from beatings inflicted during his arrest. He also experiences pain in his left rib. His carpal tunnel syndrome has worsened in prison as a result of being forced to stand with his hands tightly cuffed and raised above his head. He feels numbness down his right leg as well as lower back pain, although these problems have improved. He has been deprived of his glasses for over one month and as a result his vision has deteriorated. He is very worried about his family, particularly his son. He suffers from sleep disturbance. His situation improved after the Commission arrived.
Download Abduljalil’s card here.