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British MPs Sign Petition in Solidarity with Bahraini Prisoner of Conscience

Dozens of MPs in the British House of Commons signed a petition in solidarity with the prominent prisoner of conscience in Bahrain, Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, in light of his ongoing hunger strike.

The 29 deputies who signed the petition demanded solidarity with the detained academic Al-Singace, the release of prisoners of conscience, and the imposition of Magnitsky law sanctions on officials in Bahrain.

“This House is deeply concerned by the ongoing hunger strike of 59-year-old human rights defender Al-Singace in Bahrain,” reads the petition posted on the House of Commons website.

The petition refers to the signatories’ concern, “that Al-Singace’s hunger strike began on July 8, 2021, and exceeded 100 days, and he has been hospitalized since July 18, 2021, and has lost at least 20 kg of weight.”

Al-Singace is protesting the mistreatment of Jaw prison authorities and the confiscation of four years of his non-political research effort.

The signatories “unreservedly condemned the torture of Dr Al-Singace in 2011 by Bahraini officials, as documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.”

They also condemned “Dr Al-Singace’s stay in prison unjustly for more than a decade, as United Nations experts reported ill-treatment and medical neglect against him.”

The petition indicated that the Bahraini government ignored all steps calling for Al-Singace’s release, such as “calls from experts from the United Nations, the European Union Parliament, as well as a call made by 101 academics and 77 parliamentarians from various parties in the United Kingdom, trade unions, lawyers, and human rights groups to release Dr Al-Singace”.

The signed MPs called on “the Bahraini government to urgently return the written research to Dr Al-Singace” and demanded “the imposition of the Magnitsky Act sanctions on those responsible for his illegal imprisonment, and demand his immediate and unconditional release.

The signatories urged the government to work to “release all political prisoners in Bahrain, including Hassan Mushaima, Sheikh Ali Salman, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and Ali Al-Hajji.”

Al-Singace is still being held in Jaw Prison, the largest male prison in Bahrain, where he suffers from several health problems, including muscle and sickle cell disease.

He regularly suffers from shortness of breath, and symptoms of post-paralysis syndrome have worsened. He has been repeatedly denied access to much-needed medical care and has been prevented from seeing his family since March 2017.

Jaw Prison does not meet the prison standards required by international law; It is a prison known for its inhumane conditions on the one hand and overcrowding on the other.

The Al-Singace case is an example of the actions of the Bahrain government, which does not discriminate between arrested persons, women, children, activists and human rights defenders who are not exempted from arrest in any way.

Many of these people are arrested without any warrant and are subjected to torture and other inhumane treatment at the hands of Bahraini police and secret service officers.

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