27 international organizations appeal to international leaders to intervene for the “immediate” release of a detained Bahraini academic
27 international human rights organizations have appealed to a number of international leaders to intervene with the Manama authorities for the “immediate” and “unconditional” release of the Bahraini blogger and academic human rights defender Abdul Jalil Al-Singace who is in Bahraini prisons.
Al-Singace has been on hunger strike since July 8, 2021, to protest the ill-treatment, and to demand a re-dissertation of his academic research, which he prepared during the four years he spent in prison, after it was confiscated.
The organizations indicated – in a letter addressed to leaders of several countries, including US President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken – that “the prolonged and arbitrary confiscation of Dr. Al-Singace’s book is an unfair punishment, and the Bahraini authorities must ensure the protection of his rights, including restoring his intellectual property and resuming video calls.” weekly with his family.
The organizations – including Amnesty International and the European Center for Democracy and Human Rights – also called on international leaders to “demand the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Al-Singace and the immediate handover of his work to his family,” and the release of “all those imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, opinion and expression.” including human rights defenders, opposition activists and journalists.
Hussain Abdullah, Executive Director of Americans for Human Rights and Democracy in Bahrain, noted, “The United States claims to focus on human rights in its foreign policy but has not yet called for Dr. Al-Singace’s release. This is a test of how Washington deals with its closest allies when they are abused. Human rights. We will judge these commitments by actions, not words.”
The Director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Syed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, also commented on the letter, stressing that after more than 6 months of continuous calls for the Bahraini government to return Al-Singace’s research to his family, “These calls were met with deaf ears, and it is now time for leaders in democratic countries – especially Bahrain’s closest allies, the United Kingdom and the United States – put pressure on the highest authorities in this country to alleviate Al-Singace’s suffering and prevent irreparable and potentially life-threatening harm.”
It is noteworthy that Abdul Jalil Al-Singace was arrested after dozens of policemen stormed his home in the capital, Manama, on March 17, 2011, after he published articles on the Internet criticizing the human rights situation in Bahrain, the persecution of political opponents, and sectarian discrimination.
Because of his writing and his support for peaceful pro-democracy protests, a military court sentenced him to life imprisonment in June 2011, a ruling that was upheld by the Court of Appeal in 2012 and the Court of Cassation in 2013. In 2015, Al-Singace began a hunger strike that lasted more than 300 days to protest his prison conditions. .