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Back Activities Alerts Alert Update: Bahrain – Haq Movement representative Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace on hunger strike with several others to protest detention of political activists

Alert Update: Bahrain – Haq Movement representative Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace on hunger strike with several others to protest detention of political activists

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Several activists begin hunger strike to protest against detention of oppositon leaders and a group of youth under terrorism charges.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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17 February 2009

Alert Update: Bahrain – Haq Movement representative Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace on hunger strike with several others to protest detention of political activists

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letters


1. Summary

Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, spokesperson for Haq (Haq movement of Civil Liberties and Democracy), began a hunger strike on 13 February 2009 with six other activists in protest of the detention of two prominent Haq leaders and several youth.

IHRC has close links with Dr Al-Singace and Haq movement and is involved in their campaigns tackling injustice in Bahrain. IHRC urges campaigners to write to the authorities mentioned in this alert and appeal for the release of Haq representatives.


2. Background

Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, spokesperson for Haq (Haq movement of Civil Liberties and Democracy), began a hunger strike on 13 February 2009 with six other activists in protest of the detention of two prominent opposition leaders belonging to Haq and several youth detained due to their alleged involvement in a 'terrorism plot.'

Mr Hassan Mushaima, Secretary General of Haq, and Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al-Muqdad, a prominent religious figure closely allied to the organisation, have been detained since 26 January 2009, and have been charged under terrorism related offences for 'instigating' a 'terrorist attack' on Bahrain. Several youth, who were also captured and detained in December 2008 in relation to these allegations, have been allegedly tortured in detention. Their supposed confessions, which were aired on national television, have been alleged to be extracted under duress.

Al-Singace, who was also arrested with Mushaima and Al-Muqdad was released on bail on 27 January 2009, but is currently under a travel ban. The leaders of Haq have categorically denied any involvement in terrorism. All detained activists are due to be tried in court on 23 February 2009.

Other activists participating in the hunger strike are Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja (human rights activists and former president of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights), Abdulwahab Husain (dissident and former political prisoner) and some religious scholars namely Abduljalil Al-Muqdad, Saeed Al-Noori, Abdulhadi Al-Mukhouder and Fadel Al-Sitri.

The strikers demand the release of all detainees, including Mushaima and Al-Muqdad, dropping of all alleged charges and opening of a dialogue to explore solutions for all pending issues of concerns.

IHRC has close links with Dr Al-Singace and Haq movement and is involved in their campaigns tackling injustice in Bahrain. IHRC urges campaigners to write to the authorities mentioned in this alert and appeal for the release of Haq representatives.


3. Action required

a) Write to the minister of foreign affairs in your country, urging him/her to raise this issue with his/her Bahraini counterpart.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk

b) Write to the Bahraini ambassador in your country.

UK campaigners can write to:

HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Khalifa
30 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8QB

Fax: +44 020 7201 9183
Email: information@bahrainembassy.co.uk


4. Sample letters
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to minister of foreign affairs in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)

[Your name]
[Your address]


[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Miliband,

Re: Bahrain – Activists on hunger strike to protest against detention of opposition leaders and youth

Several political activists have begun a hunger strike to protest against the detention of two prominent opposition leaders and several youth in Bahrain. I am very concerned about the welfare of these hunger strikers as well as the detained activists.

Mr Hassan Mushaima, Secretary General of Haq, and Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al-Muqdad, a prominent religious figure closely allied to the organisation, have been detained since 26 January 2009, and have been charged under terrorism related offences for 'instigating' a 'terrorist attack' on Bahrain. Several youth who were also captured and detained in December 2008 in relation to these allegations have been allegedly tortured in detention. Their supposed confessions, which were aired on national television, have been alleged to be extracted under duress.

I am very concerned about the welfare of these opposition leaders and youth, who are due to appear in court on 23 February 2009.

The leaders of Haq have categorically denied any involvement in terrorism. In fact they are well-known as respected, law-abiding citizens of Bahrain, diligently promoting human rights in their country and working with international human rights organisations to battle injustice in Bahrain. I believe that they have been targeted because of their non-violent political activities and open criticism of Bahraini regime

I urge you to pressurise the Bahraini authorities to immediately release the opposition leaders, grant all political detainees fair trials and ensure they are treated humanely while in detention. Please urge Bahrain to allow citizens their right to freedom of expression and association in the country.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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Sample letter to Bahraini ambassador in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)


[Your name]
[Your address]


[Date]

HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Khalifa
30 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8QB

Your Excellency,

Re: Bahrain – Activists on hunger strike to protest against detention of opposition leaders and youth

Several political activists have begun a hunger strike to protest against the detention of two prominent opposition leaders and several youth in Bahrain. I am very concerned about the welfare of these hunger strikers as well as the detained activists.

Mr Hassan Mushaima, Secretary General of Haq, and Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al-Muqdad, a prominent religious figure, have been detained since 26 January 2009, and have been charged under terrorism related offences for 'instigating' a 'terrorist attack' on Bahrain. Several youth, who were also captured and detained in December 2008 in relation to these allegations, have been allegedly tortured in detention. Their supposed confessions, which were aired on national television, have been alleged to be extracted under duress.

I am very concerned about the welfare of these opposition leaders and youth, who are due to appear in court on 23 February 2009.

The leaders of Haq have categorically denied any involvement in terrorism. In fact they are well-known as respected, law-abiding citizens of Bahrain, diligently promoting human rights in Bahrain.

I urge you to immediately release the opposition leaders, grant all political detainees fair trials and ensure they are treated humanely while in detention. Please allow Bahraini citizens their right to freedom of expression and association.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]


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