Dr. Khalil al-Halwachi, a Bahraini electrical engineer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for nonviolent expressive and associative activity. Professor al-Halwachi was arrested in September 2014 because of his association with a political group. However, his charges did not relate to the group or his involvement with them. He was charged with “possession of a firearm,” which was found when the police raided his home (al-Halwachi denies it was his and professes that it was planted) and “insulting the judiciary” (he stood in court and complained about court procedures). Dr. al-Halwachi professes that he is jailed for his non-violent and peaceful political activism. Dr. al-Halwachi indicates that he suffers from medical problems, including a stroke he suffered while confined, and for which he is not receiving medical care. CCS has written the King requesting a review of the case and Dr. al-Halwachi’s immediate release.
Status Update (2/9/2018): Daughter of Khalil al-Halwachi reports that prison conditions are deplorable after a visit to see her father. Food is served in Clorox bottles, prisoners unable to shower for days at a time, bugs, pebbles and coins have been found baked in bread that is served to prisoners, water for showers is weak and very cold.
Prior to, and following his sentencing, CCS and Scholars at Risk have called for his release as he is imprisoned for expressing his opinion and non-violent associative activity.
May 3, 2017
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 is 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.
The Committee wrote you on March 21st expressing concern for Professor Khalil al-Halwachi, a 59-year old Bahraini electrical engineer and academic professor who has been in prison since his arrest in early September, 2014. We initially wrote you in September 2016 requesting that you review his case as he had a court hearing scheduled for October 20th. That hearing was postponed and reset for October 31st. That hearing, too, was rescheduled for December 29th (he has been subjected to 20 hearing cancellations). Finally, a hearing was held to address his case and on March 23rd he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Although he was arrested over two years ago, hearings in his case have repeatedly been delayed, conditions in the prison were reported as so harsh that he and others inmates have gone on hunger strikes in protest. We are asking you to please review this case and release Dr. al-Halwachi as quickly as possible.
If we can provide you further information, please let us know and we will do what we can to assist.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bahrain
PO Box 1000
Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain
973 1 753 6343
The Honorable Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland
41-22 917 9220
The Honorable William V. Roebuck
United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain
American Embassy in Manama Bahrain
Building 979, Road 3119, Block 331
Manama, Bahrain Manama
973 1727 2594
The Honorable Rex Tillerson
United States Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520