Khalil al-Halwachi, a Bahrainian engineer and human rights activist, was detained in September 2014 and has been confined since that time to date. It is alleged that the authorities came to his home and searched, finding a rifle (that was allegedly planted by those doing the search) which led to allegations of his being a terrorist. Al-Halwachi has been in prison since, in conditions that led to his (and other prisoners) holding a hunger strike in an effort to obtain improved conditions. Al-Halwachi’s trial has been postponed 17 times over a two year period. Currently, his health has been failing and it has been reported that he has recently suffered a stroke.
CCS has written the King of Bahrain requesting a review of his confinement, urging a speedy and fair trial, or to have him released; and also, that he receive appropriate medical care to assure his good health.
September 16, 2016
King Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1766 4587
The Committee of Concerned Scientists, ls an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are currently writing out of concern for Khalil al-Halwachi, a 59-year-old Bahraini electrical engineer, academic instructor, and human rights defender who has been in prison since his arrest in early September 2014. Mr. al-Halwachi studied engineering in the 1970s in London at the Imperial College, and lived in Sweden for 14 years (he has a permanent Swedish residency permit) until his return to Bahrain in 2001.
After his arrest, Mr. al-Halwachi was allegedly tortured during his interrogation. As a result of this torture he confessed (falsely) that he owned a Kalashnikov rifle for terrorist purposes.
Although this happened two years ago, hearings in his case have repeatedly been delayed, and he remains imprisoned in Dry Dock Detention Center without a trial, in conditions reported as so harsh that Mr. al-Halwachi and others have gone on hunger strikes in protest. His trial began in March 2015 and has reportedly been postponed 17 times.
Mr. al-Halwachi’s health has deteriorated significantly. He has suffered numerous blood disorders, and recently it was reported that he had a stroke. The medical care he has received has been woefully inadequate. We write to urge you to thoroughly investigate Mr. al-Halwachi’s case, including his conditions of confinement, and see to it that he is either given a prompt fair trial or released, and that his health is attended to fully without delay.
We appreciate your immediate attention to this important matter and look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Minister of Interior Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1723 2661
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1753 1284
H.E. Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Khalifa
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
3502 International Dr. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 362 2192
- Deep Concerns at Health of Detainee Khalil Al-Halwachi after Suffering from Stroke that Made him Lose Ability to Move (bahrainrights.org)
- Bahrain: Justice denied for two years as Khalil Al-Halwachi is imprisoned without a verdict (bahrainrights.org)
- Political prisoner hit with another Kafkaesque charge for writing NYT piece about harsh repression by U.S. ally Bahrain (salon.com)