“Their Freedom is Their Right” Campaign’s Prisoner of November 2015
Name: Abdul-jalil Yousef al-Singace
Date of Birth: 1962
Occupation: Head of Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Bahrain- previously
Activity: human rights activist
Marital status: Married with four sons
Current Status: carrying a Lifetime Sentence
Al-Singace is a Bahraini engineer, academic, blogger, and human rights activist. He is the spokesman and director of the Human Rights Bureau of the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy. He was Al Wefaq’s member of the board of directors, before he had resigned in 2005.
In 2008, al-Singace attempted to meet George W. Bush to present him with a petition of 80,000 signatures protesting his description of Bahrain as “a democratic country” and demanding to draft a democratic constitution.
Al-Singace was detained by the Bahraini authorities on 26 January 2009; against the backdrop of his demand to amend the constitution as well as providing further freedoms and democracy in the country. He was charged with being involved in a “terror plot” and “inciting hatred against the regime” owing to the articles published in his blog, which was later blocked in February 2009. Under domestic and international pressure, al-Singace was released upon a royal pardon. In June 2009, he wrote an editorial for The New York Times newspaper; calling on Barack Obama not to talk to the Muslim world about democracy unless he truly meant to pursue it.
In 5 August 2010, he spoke at a conference at the British House of Lords addressing human rights situation in Bahrain. There, in Britain, he visited a number of international human rights organizations. On landing at Bahrain International Airport, on 13 August, al-Singace was arrested by the Bahraini security forces. The arrest came after the King of Bahrain’s statements, in which he attacked human rights activists and called for their apprehension. Such a matter had given the Bahraini security forces the green light to detain al-Singace, attack his family- who had returned with him- and forcibly drove them out of the airport; for staging a sit-in inside the airport to protest against his arbitrary detention.
Using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, security forces dispersed ,on 13 August 2013, al-Singace’s supporters leaving some of them, including his brother and sister wounded. A security official stated that al-Singace had been arrested for “abusing the freedom of opinion and expression prevailing in the kingdom”. However, government officials later stated that he had been arrested for “inciting violence and terrorist acts”.
A week after his detention, the University of Bahrain proclaimed al-Singace’s dismissal from his office at the university. Due to his human rights activity, al-Singace had previously been dismissed from his former post as the chief of mechanical engineering department.
Al-Singace had been kept in custody for a long period of time, during which he suffered all forms of physical and psychological torture besides several violations, which resulted in a 10 kilogram weight loss. He was then released in 2011. Nevertheless, al-Singace was arrested once more in 17 March in the view of his participation in the Bahraini uprising. On 8 May, al-Singace, together with 20 activists, were referred to a military trial, on charges of: “organizing and managing a terrorist organization”, “attempting to overthrow the Government by force”, “coordinating with a terrorist organization works for a foreign country”, and “raising money to benefit a terrorist organization”. On 22 June, al-Singace, along with eight activists, were handed down a life imprisonment sentence.
A Bahraini court ordered, on 30 April 2012, the re-trial of 21 Barhraini dissidents and activists, including al-Singace, before the civil courts. During the re-trial, al-Singace refused to attend the court hearings; for his distrust of the trial’s fairness. Furthermore, he, along with some activists, went on hunger strike.
Following a trial that lasted for four months, during which 16 hearings were convened, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the ruling sentenced by the National Safety Court against al-Singace. Some activists also refrained from attending the trial hearings, due to their disbelief in the seriousness and the credibility of the trial.
The organizations participating in the campaign announced that those who wish to support the campaign can visit their websites, in order to learn how to participate and take part in.
What can we do?
1- Send the Head of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister’s Court an e-mail on [email protected]
or call: 17200000 – 17200000 demanding from the Prime Minister to release human rights activist “Abdul-jalil al-Singace”
2- Write to Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice & Islamic Affairs at the following address: Kingdom of Bahrain ,Diplomatic Area, Manama P.O.Box 450
or call: 17513000 – Fax: 17536343
Communicate with Ministry of Justice & Islamic Affairs via website: http://www.moj.gov.bh/
calling on the ministry to release human rights activist “Abdul-jalil al-Singace”
3- Send an e-mail to the Shura Council on: [email protected]
demanding from the Shura Council to release human rights activist “Abdul-jalil al-Singace”
4- Write to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders at [email protected]
5- Publish images of human rights activist “Abdul-jalil al-Singace”, as well as some information about him on your Facebook & Twitter accounts and use this hashtag #حريتهم_حقهم
6- Send some information about human rights activist “Abdul-jalil al-Singace” and the unfair sentence against him to newspapers in your country