23 AUGUST 2011

Concerns are raised over the future of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and his co-defendants in run up to appeal.

1. Summary

Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace, a Bahraini human rights activist, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court on 22 June with 20 other activists calling for justice. He is currently appealing against this conviction along with his co-defendants, who were also handed heavy sentences. 2. Background

Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and many of his co-defendants were sentenced on 22 June to life imprisonment for their political activism during the course of widespread protests in the country in the spring. Their trial was conducted in an ‘emergency’ military court, despite martial law having ended on 1 June. The co-defendants received sentences ranging from 2-15 years imprisonment.

Reports have indicated that immediately after the verdict, many of them were beaten and tortured in an effort to extract a confession from them.

The UN High Commissioner has condemned these proceedings and the lengthy prison sentences as being part of a campaign of political repression being perpetrated by the Bahraini regime on its people.

These men were clearly not given the rights expected in a fair trial, and for this reason are appealing against their conviction.

Al-Singace and many of his co-defendants are currently being held at the notorious Qrain prison, which is famed for its frequent use of torture and widespread human rights violations.

If enough attention can be brought to their appeal, there remains a strong chance that the Bahraini regime will be forced to release Al-Singace and his co-defendants. We must not let the injustices which permeated the first trial to spill over into their appeal, which would force these men to suffer life sentences for bravely speaking out against government brutality.

A list of those convicted in June who will be appealing, along with their sentences, is as follows:

Abdulwahab Hussain Ali (life), Hassan Ali Mushaima (life), Mohammed Habib Al Safaf (life), Ebrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa (5 years), Abduljalil Mansoor Makk (life), Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace (life), Saeed Mirza Ahmed (life), Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan (15 years), Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos (15 years), Abdulhadi Al Khawaja (life), Salah Hubail Al Khawaj (5 years), Mohammed Hassan Jawad (15 years), Mohammed Ali Ismael (15 years), Al Hurr Yousif Mohammed (2 years), Akeel Ahmed Al Mafoodh (15 years), Ali Hassan Abdullah (15 years), Abdulghani Ali Khanjar (15 years), Saeed Abdulnabi Shehab (life), Abdulraoof Al Shayeb (15 years), Abbas Al Omran (15 years), Ali Hassan Mushaima (15 years).

3. Action required

Write to the Bahraini Minister of Interior, Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa, calling on him to ensure that Al-Singace and his co-defendants are released immediately. Campaigners are welcome to use their own writings in their letters, or use the sample letter provided below.

4. Sample letter ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A sample letter is 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 very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a) Bahraini Minister of Interior, Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa.

[Your name] [Your address]

Minister of Interior Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa Ministry of Interior P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain Fax: +973 17232661

[Date]

Your Excellency Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa,

Re: The release of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and Co-defendants

I am writing to you with deep concern about the appeal that Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and his co-defendants, who were sentenced on 22 June, will be launching. As their initial trial took place in an ‘emergency’ court and was just subject to military prejudice and government intrusion, their appeal is certainly in danger of falling to a similar miscarriage of justice.

Al-Singace is a political activist, whose courage has allowed him to speak out against the injustices perpetuated against the Bahraini people. It is for this reason that he is an exemplary Muslim. His co-defendants likewise love their country, but are sick of seeing the rights of innocent Bahrainis be trampled upon by your government.

The initial trial of Al-Singace and his co-defendants was conducted illegally in a military court that shouldn’t have existed after martial law was repealed. I demand that you immediately release these prisoners, as their incarceration was predicated upon the suppression of the rule-of-law,, and the suspension of due-process.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature] [Your name]

a) Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name] [Your address]

Rt Hon. William Hague MP Foreign & Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH, United Kingdom.

[Date]

Dear Mr Hague,

Re: The release of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and Co-defendants

I am writing to you with deep concern about the appeal that Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and his co-defendants, who were sentenced on 22 June, will be launching. As their initial trial took place in an ‘emergency’ court and was just subject to military prejudice and government intrusion, their appeal is certainly in danger of falling to a similar miscarriage of justice.

Al-Singace is a political activist, whose courage has allowed him to speak out against the injustices perpetuated against the Bahraini people. It is for this reason that he is an exemplary Muslim. His co-defendants likewise love their country, but are sick of seeing the rights of innocent Bahrainis be trampled upon by its regime.

The initial trial of Al-Singace and his co-defendants was conducted illegally in a military court that shouldn’t have existed after martial law was repealed. I demand that you use your power as Foreign Minister to press for the immediate release of these prisoners, as their incarceration was predicated upon the suppression of the rule-of-law and equality, and the rejection of due-process.

Refusal to pressure the Bahraini regime on this issue will result in yet another miscarriage of justice being perpetrated against activists like Al-Singace. Prove that your government is not complicit in the crackdown against freedom in Bahrain by condemning the al-Khalifa regime, and bring these injustices to account.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature] [Your name]

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