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British petition condemns abuses in Bahrain

A parliamentary petition condemning human rights violations in Bahrain won the support of 30 British MPs from various parties within 24 hours, in a precedent that is the first of its kind in this regard.

Among the most prominent signatories are former opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, a House of Commons member Sir Peter Bottomley, and MPs from various British parties.

The British House of Commons launched a new petition regarding human rights violations by the ruling authorities in Bahrain.

In the petition, the Council expresses its concern about the continuing grave violations of human rights in Bahrain, including the continued arbitrary detention and inhumane treatment of prisoners of conscience, referring in particular to the academic Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, Al-Ramz, Hassan Mushaima, Abdul-Wahhab Hussein, the jurist, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Sheikh Ali Salman.

The petition notes that Freedom House ranked Bahrain in its 2021 report as a not free country and ranked 150 out of 167 countries in the Global Democracy Index issued by The Economist magazine for the year 2020, and ranked 168 out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index for the year 2021.

Representatives who signed the petition urged the Bahraini authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, enable civil society representatives and human rights defenders to work freely, allow genuine political opposition and independent media, and end the use of the death penalty.

The petition also urged the Bahraini authorities to initiate an objective and inclusive dialogue within the country on political and constitutional reform and to cooperate with human rights organizations and experts, including from the United Nations, to allow, among other things, an independent assessment of prison conditions and conditions.

The petition called on the British government to review its funding to Bahrain and other agreements with it and to interview human rights defenders, organizations, representatives of civil society and the peaceful opposition from Bahrain.

This comes as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Marie Lawlor, stated that she and other United Nations experts wrote a letter to the Government of Bahrain on the situation of the detained academic, Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, on November 15, 2021.

The UN rapporteur confirmed that the Bahraini government has not responded to its letter so far and that Al-Singace was arrested at Bahrain International Airport in August 2010, after his return from the United Kingdom, and his participation in a symposium on the human rights situation in Bahrain in the British House of Lords, and was released without direction concern him.

She pointed out that the Bahraini authorities arrested him again in March 2011 and hid him for about two months. During that time, he was subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment, and in June of the same year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on multiple charges related to terrorism.

She noted that he has participated in activities with the United Nations Human Rights Council and other United Nations human rights mechanisms and suffers from a disability that necessitated the use of crutches.

The UN rapporteur expressed her grave concern over the health and safety of Al-Singace, amid reports of his deteriorating health, due to his hunger strike since July 8, in protest against the ill-treatment he was subjected to in Jaw Central Prison and the confiscation of research books he wrote over four years in Prison.

It called on the Bahraini authorities to stop harassing Al-Singace because of his human rights activism and calling for him to respect and protect human rights in Bahrain, return the research work he wrote in Prison, and provide him with appropriate medical care.

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