Bahrain Mirror: 16 leading human rights groups including Amnesty International, Scholars at Risk and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy have issued a statement calling for the release of jailed Bahraini academic, blogger and human rights defender Dr. bduljalil Al-Singace, who has been on hunger strike since 8 July 2021 to protest ill-treatment and demand the return of a book he wrote in prison which was confiscated by prison authorities.
The statement signed by the organizations considered that the confiscation of Dr. Al-Singace's book, upon which he dedicated at least four years of research, "an unjust punishment" and demanded the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Al-Singace and to immediately return his research to his family.
The statement also criticized the failure of Bahrain's Ombudsman of the Ministry of Interior to adequately investigate the seizure of Dr. Al-Singace's research and ill-treatment committed against him. They noted that the Ombudsman "cleared the prison officials from any wrongdoing" without interviewing Dr. Al-Singace and accused him of "smuggling" his own work.
Dr. Al-Singace's book, a study of Bahraini Arabic dialects, contains no political content but the authorities have refused to return it, despite promises.
Al-Singace is serving a life sentence at Bahrain's notorious Jaw Prison over his role in Bahrain's pro-democracy uprising during the 2011 Arab Spring. He is a former lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Bahrain, with PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, now the University of Manchester.
It explained that Al-Singace has several chronic illnesses, including post-polio syndrome and a musculoskeletal condition, requiring the use of crutches or a wheelchair, making his hunger strike particularly detrimental to his health.
Since starting his hunger strike, he has lost at least 10kg and been transferred to an external hospital for monitoring. During his time in prison, he has repeatedly complained of medical negligence by prison authorities, a common form of punishment against political prisoners in Bahrain.
Following his arrest, Dr. Al-Singace was subjected to brutal torture following his arrest, including being repeatedly beaten, "sexually molested", "forced to lick the shoes" of prison guards and threatened with the rape of his wife and daughter, amongst other violations.