Amnesty slams Bahrain for treatment of imprisoned academic

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Abduljalil Al-Singace has been refusing solid food for a year and last month said he would no longer take health-stabilizing salts in response to prison authorities denying him certain medications.

Amna Guellali of Amnesty urged Bahrain authorities to ‘immediately and unconditionally release’ Abduljalil Al-Singace [ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty-file photo]

Amnesty International on Thursday criticized Bahrain for its treatment of a political prisoner.

Abduljalil Al-Singace, 60, has been described as an “unjustly imprisoned and ill academic and human rights defender” by the world human rights organization.

He has been refusing solid food for a year and at the end of last month he said he would no longer take health-stabilizing salts in response to prison authorities hiding some of his medications from him.

“It is absolutely outrageous how the Bahraini authorities have watched 60-year-old Abduljalil al-Singace’s health deteriorate as he goes through unnecessary suffering during the last 365 days of his strike. hunger, during which he only consumed liquids,” said Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East, Amna Guellali.

“He has been behind bars for over a decade solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and should never have been imprisoned in the first place.”

Guellali urged the authorities in Bahrain to “immediately and unconditionally release” Al-Singace and “urgently ensure” that he receives all necessary medication “without delay”.

She asked them to ensure that he has “access to adequate and timely health care” and that he is “protected from further torture and other ill-treatment”.

In 2011, Bahrain’s Independent Commission of Inquiry documented abuses suffered by the rights defender, including repeated beatings and deprivation of his crutches.

Al-Singace, who is serving a life sentence and suffers from several health problems, is currently being held in a Bahraini hospital.

“The Bahraini authorities continue to punish Abduljalil al-Singace for his peaceful role in the 2011 Bahrain uprising,” Guellali said.

“Not only did they unjustly imprison him, but they also illegally confiscated a book he was writing, prompting him to start his hunger strike.

“His work must be immediately returned to his family,” she added.

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