Update Alert: Bahrain –Release of AbdulJaleel Al Singace and 22 other political activists

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IHRC welcomes the news of the release of Dr. Abduljaleel Al Singace, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Haq Movement, on Wednesday 23 February at dawn.

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background


1. Summary

IHRC welcomes the news of the release of Dr. Abduljaleel Al Singace, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Haq Movement, on Wednesday 23 February at dawn. A number of political detainees and youth arrested during the demonstrations of last week were also among the released.

The decision was taken with news that Mr Hassan Mushaime, Secretary General of Haq Movement and one of the main defendants in the case, was heading back to Bahrain after spending a few months in London.

Bahrain has more than 400 political detainees imprisoned on “security grounds”. IHRC urges the Bahraini government to release all political detainees.


2. Background

King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa ordered the release of 23 political activists, today at dawn, in an attempt to calm the wave of unprecedented anti-government protests in Bahrain. King Hamad also order the closure of all the cases opened against the activists “in appreciation for their national unity and in response to their national demands.”

On Tuesday, protesters in Bahrain went in tens of thousands calling for political reform and seeking an elected government, after being ruled for so long by a monarchy and a parliament that has very little power.  An estimated 150,000 are currently occupying Pearl Square in the capital Manama.

Al-Singace was arrested at Manama Airport on the morning of 13 August 2010, as he and his family returned to the country from London.

His arrest came the day after the ruler of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, appealed for critics of the government to return to the country, promising them freedom of speech and action.  It was also just days after he had attended a seminar at the House of Lords on 5 August, discussing the human rights situation in Bahrain.  He had also had meetings with the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and other human rights groups.

The Bahraini News Agency reported an “official security source” as saying that Al Singace had been arrested on national security grounds, accusing him of inciting violence.

A well known civil society activist, Alsingace was often seen at demonstrations in his wheelchair to which he was often confined.  His detention, as soon as he arrived back in Manama, was a shock.  Able to periodically send messages to his family, he has claimed he was tortured, denied medical treatment and abused in several ways.  Crippled by polio, Alsingace is paralysed completely in one leg.  Of the many tortures he described, was being kept in a standing position on his paralysed leg continuously for two days. 

For further background information including prior IHRC alerts on the case of Dr. Abduljaleel, please visit the following links:

URGENT ALERT: Bahrain – Dr Al-Singace, Human Rights activist arrested on return to Bahrain

PRESS RELEASE: BAHRAIN: IHRC refers treatment of activists to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Action Alert: Bahrain – Haq Movement leader alleges torture during incommunicado detention

Bahrain: Open Letter to UN Special Rapporteur on situation of HR defenders

PRESS RELEASE: Bahrain – IHRC asks UN Special Rappateur to take up case of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace

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"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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