Professor Abdul Jail Al-Singace, a scholar of mechanical engineering at the University of Bahrain and Director of the Human Rights Bureau of the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy, an opposition political movement, was arrested on August 13, 2010 at Bahrain International Airport, upon his return from the United Kingdom, and taken to an undisclosed location. This followed his address on August 5 to the British House of Lords during which he reported on Bahrain’s human rights situation. Reports indicate that Professor Al-Singace has not been permitted regular visits with his family or lawyer.
Although Bahraini law dictates that detainees are brought before the public prosecutor or formally charged with an offense within 48 hours, Professor Al-Singace has yet to be formally charged. Furthermore, Professor Al-Singace suffers from poliomyelitis. In light of this, his prolonged detention without regular access to counsel, family, or adequate medical support would appear to constitute a reckless disregard of his health and well-being. This disregard, coupled with the suddenness and lack of any clear basis for his arrest, raises concerns that this case appears to involve retaliation against one scholar’s peaceful exercise of fundamental rights, which are guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a party.
CCS urged Bahraini authorities to ensure Professor Al-Singace’s well being, including immediate and regular access to legal counsel, to family and to necessary medical treatment; and to explain publicly the reasons for his detention or absent a legal basis therefore, to arrange for his earliest release.