77 MPs, Trade Unions, NGOs, academics call on British government to save Bahraini hunger striker

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Scores of British lawmakers, trade unions, NGOs and prominent academics have written to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to convey their gravest concern over the fate of imprisoned Bahraini academic and human rights defender, Dr Abduljalil AlSingace, who has been on hunger strike since 8 July 2021.

In their letter the signatories said AlSingace “is protesting persistent mistreatment by prison authorities and demanding a book he wrote in prison on Bahrain’s culture and dialects, to which he dedicated four years of research, be returned, following its confiscation in April 2021.”

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Committee has, on its part warned that the national security law used to convict AlSingace is also used to persecute “human rights defenders and activists.”

For the full text see below or download the original letter here:

Dear Liz Truss,

We write in solidarity with imprisoned Bahraini academic and human rights defender Dr Abduljalil AlSingace who has been on hunger strike since 8 July 2021, losing over 20kg and has been hospitalised since 18th July 2021. He is protesting persistent mistreatment by prison authorities and demanding a book he wrote in prison on Bahrain’s culture and dialects, to which he dedicated four years of research, be returned, following its confiscation in April 2021.

AlSingace has spent over 10 years in prison since being sentenced to life for his peaceful activism during Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry documented severe torture against AlSingace following his arrest and UN experts and rights groups have reported mistreatment and medical negligence throughout his imprisonment. The UN Human Rights Committee has warned that the national security law used to convict AlSingace is used to persecute “human rights defenders and activists.”

16 rights groups, 101 global academics and numerous British parliamentarians have called on Bahrain, a close UK ally, to meet AlSingace’s demands and order his release. Yet despite calling for the release of prominent human rights defenders imprisoned by hostile states, the UK government has made no substantive statement, instead repeating false assurances from Bahrain about his case.

This silence risks emboldening Bahrain in their criminalisation of peaceful dissent and torture of dissidents. The UK government must condemn Bahrain’s persecution of AlSingace, call for the return of his intellectual property and immediate and unconditional release. This miscarriage of justice must end.

 

  1. Sir Ed Davey MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Kingston and Surbiton
  2. Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Conservative, Father of the House of Commons, Worthing West
  3. Ian Blackford MP, Westminster Leader of the Scottish National Party, Ross, Skye and Lochaber
  4. Liz Saville Roberts MP, Westminster Leader of Plaid Cymru, Dwyfor Meirionnydd
  5. Caroline Lucas MP, Westminster Leader of the Green Party, Brighton Pavilion
  6. Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Oxford West and Abingdon
  7. Brendan O’Hara MP, Scottish National Party, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and Human Rights in the Gulf, Argyll and Bute
  8. Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat, Orkney and Shetland
  9. Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh West
  10. Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat, Twickenham
  11. Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat, Richmond Park
  12. Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat, Bath
  13. Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour, Denton and Reddish
  14. Andy Slaughter MP, Labour, Hammersmith
  15. Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Labour, Streatham
  16. Clive Lewis MP, Labour, Norwich South
  17. Diane Abbott MP, Labour, Hackney North and Stoke Newington
  18. Hilary Benn MP, Labour, Leeds Central
  19. John McDonnel, Labour, Hayes and Harlington
  20. Kim Johnson MP, Labour, Liverpool Riverside
  21. Navendu Mishra MP, Labour, Stockport
  22. Paula Barker MP, Labour, Liverpool, Wavertree
  23. Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour, Salford and Eccles
  24. Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, Scottish National Party, Na h-Eileanan an Iar
  25. Chris Stephens MP, Scottish National Party, Glasgow South West
  26. Deidre Brock MP, Scottish National Party, Edinburgh North and Leith
  27. Owen Thompson MP, Scottish National Party, Midlothian
  28. Chris Hazzard MP, Sinn Féin, South Down
  29. Francie Molloy MP, Sinn Féin, Mid Ulster
  30. John Finucane MP, Sinn Féin, Belfast North
  31. Michelle Gildernew MP, Sinn Féin, Fermanagh and South Tyrone
  32. Mickey Brady MP, Sinn Féin, Newry and Armagh
  33. Orfhlaith Begley MP, Sinn Féin, West Tyrone
  34. Paul Maskey MP, Sinn Féin, Belfast West
  35. Kenny MacAskill MP, Alba Party, East Lothian
  36. Neale Hanvey MP, Alba Party, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
  37. Claudia Webbe MP, Leicester East
  38. Jonathan Edwards MP, Carmarthen East
  39. Margaret Ferrier MP, Rutherglen and Hamilton West House of Lords
  40. Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Green Party
  41. Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Green Party
  42. Lord Browne of Ladyton, Labour
  43. Lord Scriven, Liberal Democrat
  44. Baroness Northover, Liberal Democrat
  45. Lord Hylton, Crossbench
  46. Baroness Stern, Crossbench NGOs
  47. Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
  48. Allan Hogarth, Head of Advocacy and Programmes, Amnesty International UK
  49. Annie Game, Executive Director, IFEX
  50. Daniel Gorman, Director, English PEN
  51. David Kode, Advocacy and Campaigns Lead, CIVICUS
  52. Gerald Staberock, Secretary General, World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
  53. Husain Abdulla, Director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
  54. Khalid Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
  55. Maya Foa, Joint Executive Director, Reprieve
  56. Phil Lynch, Director, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  57. Quinn McKew, Executive Director ARTICLE 19
  58. Romana Cacchioli, Executive Director, PEN International
  59. Rupert Skilbeck, Director of REDRESS Trust
  60. Sinead O’Gorman, Director, Scholars at Risk Europe Trade Unions
  61. Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trade Union Congress (TUC)
  62. Jo Grady, General Secretary, University & College Union (UCU)
  63. Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union (NEU)
  64. Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union (NEU)
  65. Patrick Roach, General Secretary, The Teacher’s Union (NASUWT) Academics
  66. Dr Ala’a Shehabi, Deputy Director Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL, UK
  67. Dr Brian Dooley, Visiting Scholar UCL
  68. Catherine Cobham, Lecturer, Head of the department of Arabic and Persian, University of St Andrews, UK
  69. Dr David Wearing, SOAS University of London
  70. Professor John Chalcraft, Professor of Middle East History and Politics, London School of Economics (LSE), UK Lawyers
  71. Daniel Carey, Partner, Deighton Pierce Glynn
  72. Emma Deacon QC, 5 Paper Buildings
  73. Julian Christopher QC, 5 Paper Buildings
  74. Martin Evans QC, 33 Chancery Lane
  75. Martyn Day, Co-founder and Senior Partner, Leigh Day
  76. Richard Hermer QC, Matrix Chambers
  77. Sue Willman, Assistant Director, King’s Legal Clinic