Diary of a 111-day Hunger Striker: With My Own Pen I write: I am Abdulajalil Al-Singace

2015-08-20 - 3:18 م

Bahrain Mirror: These are the memoirs recording four full days of an ongoing hunger strike carried out by the political prisoner, Abduljalil Al-Singace, since 111 days. Al-Singace, who is one of the figures of Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy, recounted part of his suffering in prison, involving officers, doctors, nurses and Ombudsman representatives. He was obliged to deal with, talk to and even confront a number of different figures. Al-Singace's insistence to wear civilian clothes and not the prison uniform is a symbol of a legendary resilience. "My answer is like yesterday's," said Al-Singace when they decided to test his will. They made him choose between receiving treatment-which he was in need of-while wearing the prison uniform, or staying in prison but at the expense of his health. Al-Singace chose his will, by saying "No, [I don't want to receive treatment] unless I am in my civilian clothes". His argument with the Ombudsman representative to whom he said: "you are not an independent party and you attempt to hide the violations" is a slap on the face of people who chose to polish the image of the dictatorship. "Neither I nor my family asked for this". In his memoirs, the reader will find a detailed description written by Al-Singace about the prison administration's fake visits.

The following are Al-Sigance's memoirs about his hunger strike which Bahrain Mirror gathered after obtaining them through his lawyer, Mohammed Al-Tajer.

July 4, 2015: I asked the prison administration to advance the date of my family visit scheduled on Thursday (July 9, 2015) since it coincides with that of my detained son, Hussein. The two nurses refused to provide me with a pen and paper due to a new order that prevents them from providing me with papers and pens. It is noteworthy that the other detainees have notebooks of different sizes and pens, and some even have radios. After an intense quarrel, they brought me a small piece of paper and a pen so I wrote a letter to the administration and sent it on the same day.

July 5, 2015: A Jordanian officer named Samer called me and told me that my request was accepted and that a visit will be scheduled on Tuesday, upon my request. However, this did not happen, for the visitation department headed by lieutenant Hamad Al-Thawadi, orders that I only have a visit  every two weeks or more and that the date of the visit be selected according to what they deem suitable and not what suits me. It is noteworthy that I was deprived of the right to a condolence visit for this reason. Officer Samer talked about my hunger strike and the number of days I reached as if he had no idea about it. "More than 100 days," I told him. He asked if this was because of the uniform, handcuffs and searching process in the administration's office? I replied, "Yes". He said that this is a procedure applied in all the prisons and that he can do nothing about it, and that even the head of prison can't. I told him that I, along with the Secretary-General of the Haq Movement, Hassan Mushaima, don't wear the prison uniform and are neither handcuffed nor exposed to the degrading searching process since we arrived at prison in November 2011, this was an arrangement with the administration. He said that the matters have changed and then moved on to talk about the products and items I could have and listed them: shampoo, pens, copybooks, du'a book (Mafatih Al-Jinan) and two books, adding that he will manage to get them for me. He asked me to write a letter yet they have provided me with nothing until now. It is noteworthy that this the fifth letter I have written in this regards and none of the requests stated in them was met. On Sunday, an Egyptian dermatologist visited me to examine my hair loss due to the hunger strike and lack of shampoo for more than two months. She recommended that I take Omega 3 (Vitamin E) and use an anti-hair fall medical shampoo. The shampoo was brought to me from a pharmacy outside the hospital and I started using it and taking the Omega 3 pills.

July 6, 2015: They woke me up in the morning to tell me that a medical guard has come to take me from Jaw Prison to the military hospital to meet the hematology consultant to examine the decrease in my white blood cells and immune deficiency. However, they told me that I have to be wearing the prison uniform. I replied that I wanted to go to the military hospital as I used to go before, i.e. in my civilian clothing. I refused and they in turn refused to take me to the military hospital, although it was an urgent appointment scheduled by the physician who was treating me in the al-Qalaa clinic, the Iraqi Dr. Elias Kamal.

July 7, 2015: The nurse came along with the guarding police to tell me that I have an appointment at the department of internal medicine in the Al-Salmaniya Medical Complex. The nurse once again told me that I have to wear the prison uniform and handcuffs. I replied: my answer is like yesterday's. I neither refuse the treatment nor do I refuse going to the military hospital. However, I insisted on going wearing my civilian clothing as I used to go before. They once again refused to take me to receive treatment.

Later on, Khalid Elias, an employee in the Ombudsman office, entered to my prison cell. He was a polite man. He greeted me and always called me Doctor. I told him that I have a clear stance towards the Ombudsman and that it is not an independent body and always attempts to hide the violations of the ministry and prison's administration. He said: we know and we respect your viewpoint. I told him that neither I nor my family called and addressed him, so who did? He answered it is true that neither you nor your family addressed us, not even anyone from abroad did (i.e. organizations according to him, although that wasn't what I believed); yet we want to check on you from a humanitarian aspect, he added. I told him that "you came after over a 100 days of hunger strike". He said that "they are very busy and there is a great number of prisoners." He then asked me, "do you have a wheelchair? Do they allow your family to visit you? Do they provide you with treatment? Do you have hygiene products? He then headed to the restroom after that. "Yes, there is soap, toothpaste, a towel and lighting." He left the restroom. There is also a window (he was measuring it). He kept on asking, so I told him that my condition is stable. He replied: "But we want to check on you doctor." He told me that he will meet the doctor and then left. Every time he visits me, he enters the restroom and examines it. Afterwards, he sat with the doctor in charge of my treatment, Dr. Elias, and I don't know what he told him.

I told him that these are my complaints against you: "You do not address or tackle the bigger issue. He asked: how is that? I replied: I have been on hunger strike since more than 100 days and you are focusing on these things and did not ask about the reasons behind the strike. He responded: We will, God willing, sit together and talk about the matter later on. I said: you already know why I and the Secretary General of Haq Movement, Hassan Mushaima, have refused visits since more than 10 months. I am a polite person; a lot of government officials graduated at my hands. My crime is that I talk and express my opinion publicly and frankly. I am punished by being deprived of freedom and work. OK! Why am I being punished more by attempts to insult and degrade me, so that I look like a criminal who has a record. I refuse to be insulted and humiliated. I prefer dying here than to accepting humiliation and degradation. He told me that things are going to change, God Willing. The administration is not competent and the mentality that manages matters here should be changed, I replied. He added: everything will change. He then bid me farewell and left. I think they are preparing a response to the high officials or a response to questions of foreign organizations or media outlets, maybe.

My general health condition: Sugar levels are between 4-5 and sometimes lower than 4. Blood pressure is 100-110 over 60-70. Hemoglobin is 12-13. Number of white blood cells is approximately 3400 and the body temperature is about 37 degree celcius, it increases sometimes and decreases other times.

I am waiting for an appointment with Dr. Abdulla Al-Ajami in Al-Salmaniya Medical Complex to have my blood tested and know the cause of the decrease in white blood cells. I am also waiting for an appointment with Dr. Walid, the urology consultant concerning the prostate and waiting to undergo a surgery for my nose and ear, after visiting the ear, nose and throat consultant at Al-Salmaniya Medical Complex. This is an old problem that dates back to more than 3 years, yet, the Ministry of Interior represented by the prison administration does not allow me to undergo surgery. I suffer from nasal dyspnea and vertigo, due to pressure drop and loss of balance in my left ear.

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