According to Dr al-Singace’s family, he is not allowed to walk outside. He remains isolated in the Qalaa hospital, and is provided only irregular contact with his family. He is frequently denied basic hygienic items including soap, and is not allowed to interact with other patients in the hospital.
Dr al-Singace is a member of the Bahrain 13, a group of thirteen peaceful political activists and human rights defenders, including Ebrahim Sharif and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, sentenced to prison terms for their peaceful role in Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests in 2011.
Dr al-Singace was first arrested in August 2010 at Bahrain airport. He had just returned from a conference at the British House of Lords regarding human rights in Bahrain. Security forces detained Dr. al-Singace for six months, during which he was tortured, and released him in February 2011 during the height of protests. However, Dr al-Singace was rearrested on 17 March 2011, after his participation in peaceful pro-democracy protests. In detention, officers blindfolded, handcuffed, and beat Dr. al-Singace in the head with their fists and batons. Officers threatened him and his family with reprisals.
On 22 June 2011, a military court sentenced Dr al-Singace to life for attempted overthrow of the regime. Since then, he has been imprisoned in the Central Jau Prison, and has only recently received treatment for a nose injury sustained during torture. He has been denied treatment for a similar ear injury also sustained during torture since his incarceration.
In 2015, Dr al-Singace was awarded the Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award by the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, having been nominated by English PEN. On learning of the award, Dr al-Singace stated:
I am very honored to have been nominated for your prestigious award, and I would like to thank you very much for your efforts and dedication to support human rights defenders, who use the power of their word and pen to convey justice.
I would like to dedicate this award to my dear mother who passed away last November, while i am in detention, for I became who I am today because of her support and efforts while raising me.
Thank you very much.
Dr al-Singace was also named one of Index on Censorship’s 100 ‘free expression heroes’ in 2016. He has long campaigned for an end to torture and political reform, writing on these and other subjects on his blog, Al-Faseela, which remains banned by Bahraini Internet Service Providers. Bahrain has become a dangerous place for those who speak out, with peaceful dissidents at risk of arbitrary arrests, systematic torture and unfair trial.
We, the undersigned NGOs, call on the government of Bahrain to immediately secure the release of Dr al-Singace and all prisoners of conscience, and to provide all appropriate and necessary medical treatment for Dr al-Singace.
Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)
Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
European Center for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR)
FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
Index on Censorship
PEN Center Argentina
PEN Center USA
PEN Centre of German Speaking Writers Abroad
PEN Eritrea in Exile
PEN New Zealand
PEN South Africa
PEN Suisse Romand
Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF)
San Miguel PEN
Scholars at Risk
Wales PEN Cymru
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders