ADHRB Applauds Committee on Academic Freedom for Al-Singace Letter

WASHINGTON, DC – November 25, 2013 – Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) applauds the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) for submitting a letter to the King of Bahrain expressing their “deep concern about the well-being” of Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace.

Sent on 21 November 2013 by MESA President Professor Nathan Brown, the letter highlights the plight of prisoner of conscience Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace, who has been in prison since 2011 due to his participation in the popular protest movement that called for democratic reform and respect for human rights in Bahrain that year. In their letter to the King, MESA addressed the Bahrain government’s denial of essential medical care for Dr. Singace due to his refusal to wear prison clothing, stating that “Bahraini citizens are entitled to health care regardless of the clothes that they wear.”

“We are incredibly grateful to MESA and Professor Brown for raising the profile of Bahraini Prisoner of Conscience Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace through their letter to the King of Bahrain,” said ADHRB Director Husain Abdulla. “A noted scholar and human rights activist, Dr. Singace has committed no crime whatsoever, but has been steadfast in his resolve to work peacefully and tirelessly for human rights in Bahrain. It is important for academic organizations and associations around the world to raise their voice against the ongoing mistreatment of one of their peers.”

Noting that Bahrain is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, MESA asked the King to honor his  “commitments under international law and release Dr. Al-Singace from prison, drop all charges against him and reinstate him as a productive member of the faculty of the University of Bahrain with compensation for the time he lost while in prison.”

The letter went on to mention the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, the recommendations of which the King of Bahrain accepted upon the Commission’s completion two years ago. Unfortunately, as the letter notes, many of the recommendations have yet to be implemented, including those meant to provide the proper protection for persons in custody. The letter goes on to argue that “the continued imprisonment of Dr. Al-Singace is an affront to the very principles you profess, and severely undermines Bahrain’s international standing,”

“The Government of Bahrain continues to violate both domestic and international laws through its campaign to quell dissenting voices and human rights activists,” Mr. Abdulla said. “We echo the call made by MESA and urge the Bahrain government to immediately release Dr. Singace, as well as the remaining prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, to comply with the BICI recommendations they accepted two years ago.”


Please click here for a PDF of this statement.