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Bar Human Rights Committee: Protect and ensure the safety of Dr Abdul Jalil al‐Singace

Bar Human Rights Committee Garden Court Chambers, 57‐60 Lincoln’ Inn Field, London WC2A 3LS Tel: 020 7993 7755 Fax: 020 7993 7700 Email: bhrc@compuserve.com Website: www.barhumanrights.org.uk

London, 16 August 2010 Tariq Bin Daina Deputy Interior Minister Ministry of the Interior The Kingdom of Bahrain SENT BY EMAIL

Dear Deputy Minister

RE: Dr Abdul Jalil al‐Singace

I am writing on behalf of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC). The BHRC is the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales. It is an independent body concerned with defending the rule of law and internationally recognised legal standards relating to human rights and the right to fair trial.

The BHRC is contacting you regarding its concerns following reports received of the arrest and treatment of Dr Abdul Jalil al‐Singace.

The BHRC has been informed that Dr al‐Singace was arrested on his return to Bahrain on Friday, 13 July 2010 from the United Kingdom. However, it is unclear as to charges this detention was based on and the BHRC has been informed that his legal representative has not been able to see him. We would be most grateful if you could forward any information you have on the charges Dr ql‐Singace has been charged with and the conditions of his detention.

The BHRC recalls the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, [1] which provides that human rights defenders have the right to “romote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” further to Article 1 of the UN Declaration. As such, Bahrain has an obligation not to harass or discriminate against human rights defenders, and is also under a positive duty to “ake all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the...Declaration”(Article 12 of the UN Declaration).

The BHRC therefore respectfully urges the Bahrain authorities to take immediate and effective steps to protect and ensure the safety of Dr Abdul Jalil al‐Singace, and in general all threatened lawyers and human rights defenders, in order to preserve the independence and integrity of the administration of justice.

[1] Adopted by the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/144 during the 53rd session on 8 March 1999.

Yours sincerely

Mark Muller QC Chairman Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales

Copies sent to: • Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Khalifa, H.E. Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Kingdom

•Jamie Bowden, British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY: Bahrain: Arbitrary detention of human rights defenders

BHR 004 / 0810 / OBS 101 Arbitrary detention / Judicial harassment / Hindrances to freedom of peaceful assembly Bahrain August 18, 2010

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bahrain.

From left to right Activists: Jaffar Al-Hessabi, Mohammed Saeed, Abdulghani Al-Khanjar, Abduljalil Al-Sengais

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) about the arbitrary arrest and detention of Mr. Abduljalil Al-Sengais, Spokesperson and Director of the Human Rights Bureau of the political party the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy, Mr. Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, Spokesperson of the National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture (NCMVT), Mr. Jaffar Al-Hessabi, a bahraini human right activist involved in the fight against torture who has been living in the United Kingdom (UK) for 15 years, and Mr. Mohammed Saeed, a board member of BCHR .

According to the information received, on August 13, 2010, early in the morning, Mr. Abduljalil Al-Sengais was detained at Bahrain International Airport while he was returning from the UK with his family. On August 5, 2010, he had participated to a seminar on the situation of human rights in Bahrain at the House of Lords and had addressed the resurgence of torture, the increase of discrimination, the decline of public liberties and the deterioration of the environmental situation in the country. Mr. Al-Sengais had also visited several international human rights organisations during his stay in the UK.

On the same day, at around 5.30 pm, the Special Forces violently dispersed with tear-gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets a peaceful gathering set up in solidarity in front of Mr. Al-Sengais' house, inflecting several injuries among the demonstrators.

Furthermore, at around 3 am on August 15, 2010, Mr. Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, was arrested at his home by the Security Forces. His computer and mobile phones were also confiscated.

Messrs. Abduljalil Al-Sengais, Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar are accused of “forming an organised network aiming at weakening the security and the stability of the country” under the Anti-Terrorism Law and the Criminal Code. According to Government representatives, this network would be involved in “illegal practices and other acts that would harm the stability of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its civil peace”, and would have been calling for “violence and terrorist acts”. The Public Prosecutor’s Office reportedly issued a warrant to search Mr. Al-Sengais' house and belongings and, as of issuing this Urgent Appeal investigations would be ongoing to “uncover the remaining members of the network”.

Additionally, on August 16, at 11:30 pm, Mr. Jaffar Al-Hessabi was arrested at Bahrain International Airport, and on August 17 at 3 am, Mr. Mohammed Saeed was arrested at his home. As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, the four human rights defenders remained detained; however, no information could be obtained regarding their place and conditions of detention.

Mr. Abduljalil Al-Sengais had already been arrested in January 2009 along with other members of the Haq Movement or Civil Liberties and Democracy in relation to an alleged “terror plot” before being granted a royal pardon on April 12, 2009[1]. In February 2010, Mr. Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, together with Messrs. Nabeel Rajab, BCHR President, and Mohamed Al-Maskati, President of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), were subjected to a slandering media campaign. The three human rights defenders were accused in several media, among other things, of having “links with foreign Governments”, of having committed “acts of violence using Molotov cocktails”, of “inciting the youth to commit violence against the State” and of “defaming the State before international organisations”[2].

Additionally, within the same context, four religious and political activists who have recently been involved in peaceful protest actions for the release of political prisoners have also been arrested between August 15 and 17: Sheikh Mohammed Al-Moqdad, Sheikh Saeed Al-Nori, Sheikh Mirza Al-Mahroos and Sheikh Abdulhadi Al-Mukhuder.

The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention of Messrs. Abduljalil Al-Sengais, Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, Jaffar Al-Hessabi and Mohammed Saeed, which seems to only aim at sanctioning their human rights activities, and fears for their physical and psychological integrity. Therefore, the Observatory calls upon the Bahraini authorities to take prompt action in order to disclose their whereabouts and to immediately and unconditionally release them.

Additionally, the Observatory urges the Bahraini authorities to ensure the ability of all human rights defenders and organisations in Bahrain to carry out their work without hindrances in accordance with the Bahraini legislation.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Bahrain to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Abduljalil Al-Sengais, Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, Jaffar Al-Hessabi and Mohammed Saeed, as well as of all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

ii. Take prompt action in order to disclose the whereabouts of Messrs. Abduljalil Al- Sengais, Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, Jaffar Al-Hessabi and Mohammed Saeed and ensure their immediate and unconditionally release since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to any acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Messrs. Abduljalil Al-Sengais, Abdulghani Ali Issa Al-Khanjar, Jaffar Al-Hessabi and Mohammed Saeed, and against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

iv. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and its Article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.


- Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA , King of Bahrain, Fax: +973 176 64 587

- Cheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad AL KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tel: +973 172 27 555; Fax : +973 172 12 6032

-Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Tel: +973 175 31 333; Fax: +973 175 31 284

- Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva, 1 chemin Jacques-Attenville, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, CP 39, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 758 96 50. Email: info@bahrain-mission.ch

Please also write to diplomatic representations of Bahrain in your respective countries.

*** Paris-Geneva, August 18, 2010

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

--- [1]See Observatory Urgent Appeal BHR 001/0109/OBS 003, 003.1 and 003.2, respectively issued on January 7, February 6 and February 24, 2009.

[2]See Urgent Appeal BHR 001/0210/OBS 020, issued on February 18, 2010.

BCHR: Further Arrests that Target the Human Rights Defenders and Political Opposition

A Security Alert and an Organized Media Fright and Artificial Amassing the People Following the Aggravating Speech by the King and his Uncle the Prime Minister


The Bahrain Center for Human Rights received with great concern news on the mounting security deterioration and increase of arrests which this time targeted three well-known human rights activists and defenders, in an organized suppression campaign released by the escalating speeches by the country's King Hamad Al-Khalifa, and his uncle the Prime Minister Khalifa Al-Khalifa, and the Minister of Interior Rashid Al-Khalifa, accompanied with an artificial public and media fright that incites hatred and smearing the reputation of those detainees and criminating them before they are even brought forth to the Public Prosecution and Court which are affiliated with the Executive Authority.

After the Security Authorities arrested the well-known human rights activist Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace in the morning of Friday 13 August 2010, three activists were arrested simultaneously in the dawn of Sunday, 15 August 2010, and they are Abdul-Ghani Khanjjar and he is a well-known Bahraini human rights activist and heads the National Committee of Martyrs and Torture Victims – it is the Committee that works on documenting the violations of the past period and forming local and international pressures to question the perpetrators of the torture crimes witnessed by the country during the past period and where the Prime Minister and several current political and security leaders are involved in – Khanjjar is also the spokesperson of the Bahraini Coalition for Truth and Equity, and it is a coalition that is made up of 11 Bahraini political and human rights societies. Al-Khanjjar and along with the detainee Dr. Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace and representatives of a group of local and international organizations had taken part in the symposium held recently in London and which addressed the violations of human rights in Bahrain. The symposium was under the patronage of Lord Avebury, Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Committee at the House of Lords. It seems, by the statement published in the local newspapers in the name of a security source, that this symposium was one of the reasons that pushed the Authority to arrest Al-Khanjjar and his colleague Dr. Al-Singace.

The second detainee is Sheikh Mohammed Habib Al-Muqdad, (48 years old) from Bilad-al-Qadeem area; he is a Shiite cleric and a social activist who heads the Al-Zahraa Charity Center for Orphan Care. Sheikh Al-Muqdad is known for delivering straightforward speeches that criticize the Authority at various areas in Bahrain, and that aim at raising public awareness on the human rights issues of the community, among them fighting poverty and corruption and educating people on human rights, and fighting sectarian discrimination, arbitrary detention and torture and demanding the release of the detainees. Al-Muqdad had led a group of victims and those affected to file complaints against the Bahraini Minister of Interior in the Public Prosecution, for the assaults practiced by the Special Forces and for their use of shotgun against the participants in the protests. The BCHR fears that targeting Al-Muqdad is as a message to him and a warning to all who resort to filing legal lawsuits against the security officials for the violations witnessed in the country. Al-Muqdad had been summoned for interrogation last month in the Public Prosecution, on the charge of leading an unauthorized demonstration to Salmaniya Government hospital to visit someone who was injured with shotgun. The third detainee is Sheikh Saeed Al-Nori and he is a Shiite cleric and one of the Bahraini opposition figures, as well as a leader in the Islamic Wafaa Movement which is a Bahraini opposition movement demanding democracy and fighting sectarian discrimination and political naturalization since its establishment in the beginning of 2008, after a protest and hunger strike carried out by a group of political and human rights figures demanding the release of the detainees. Sheikh Al-Noori's latest activity was during the last months when he participated in organizing demonstrations demanding the release of the detainees and delivering a number of speeches in public areas to demand democracy, liberties and respecting human rights.

The use of sound bombs and tear gas to disperse a number of activists in front of the Public Prosecution
Since the moment of their arrest which was initiated with the arrest of Dr. Al-Singace last Friday and until writing this report, all the detainees are being held in custody in unknown places that are isolated from the outside world, and their families or lawyers are prohibited from visiting them. Through the nature of arrest and detention, it seems that the Bahraini Authority is heading towards charging the activists according to the Bahraini Anti-Terrorism Law, and which is the law that has been internationally condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the context of counter-terrorism[1], and the International Commission of Jurists[2], Amnesty International[3], Human Rights Watch[4] and several other human rights organizations. In addition to that, arresting the four activists had sparked a wave of commotion in several Shiite-dominated villages. In the last two days, the fully armed Special Forces surrounded the villages and used sound bombs, teargas, rubber bullets and shotgun to suppress the angry demonstrators who threw stones back at the Security Forces, and blocked the roads with stones, tires and garbage containers blazed with fire.

unrest at the Bahraini villages
The arrest and detention was accompanied with a media fright and artificial amassing of the people to create a hostile environment towards the detainees and the institutes they belong to, and towards the protest acts witnessed in the country as a result of the policies of the ruling regime. The villages and areas of Bahrain are witnessing escalating public protests as a result of the Authority's policy in the continuous arbitrary arrest, systematic torture in the detention centers and prisons, political naturalization which aims at changing the demography, systematic discrimination against the citizens who belong to the Shiite sect, and raiding their villages by the Special Forces who are brought as mercenary forces which the Authority takes it strength from against the country's people. This is in addition to the increasing level of poverty and the spread of corruption in the polity by taken over public lands and wealth, as well as the Authority, represented by the Royal Court, entering as a party in fueling the differences between the Shiite and Sunnis, and marginalizing the role of the Parliament and humiliating its members, in addition to enabling individuals from the group of officials and the covert groups revealed by the report of the former government adviser and which is executing the a serious plot to marginalize the Shiite sect and penetrating the opposition and civil society institutions. The Authority, and instead of turning to dialogue and laying down radical solutions to sort the unresolved files that stand behind the political and social tension, the Authority resorted to the security solutions by taking strength in the foreign forces to suppress the protests and to pursue the activists and smear their reputation and charge them with incitement to violence.

It is known about the Authority in Bahrain that every time the external and internal pressures increase to improve the human rights conditions, it resorts to creating fabricated stories about the presence of a terror plot that is related to the outside or that there is someone who is targeting destabilizing the security, and it uses this to carry out a campaign of arrests that target the political opposition and human rights defenders; however, the facts quickly find their way out to the local and international public opinion, and the Authority end up having to release the detainees under the pretext of pardoning them. The last of these various stories was announcing in December 2008 that a terror plot which was targeting the stability of Bahrain was revealed, and it was known as Al-Hujira Case.

Based on many of the previous cases, and the increase of the suppressive procedures by the Authorities against the opposition and human rights defenders, and by studying the nature of work and speeches of the four activists, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights has strong grounds to believe that the arrest and charges against the abovementioned activists is related to their engagement in peaceful and legitimate activities related to democratic reform and promoting human rights, and practicing their fundamental rights, and especially freedom of expression, assembling and forming societies.

Therefore, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights demands the following:

1. The immediate release of the four detained activists and to stop the prosecutions related to the peaceful and legitimate activities they are practicing; 2. Ensuring the rights of the four activists during the detention, including the immediate rights of calls and family visits, and the legal advice and appropriate health care; 3. Annulling the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2006 and amending the Penal Code of 1976 and the other laws related to public liberties, for them to be compatible with the international conventions of human rights, especially those related to practicing the fundamental human rights such as the right to expression, organizing, assembling and defending human rights; 4. Putting an end to the use of excessive force, arbitrary arrest, abuse, torture and unjust trials; 5. Putting an end to targeting human rights defenders and taking the legislative and practical measures to provide protection for them;

6. Prosecuting the ones responsible for all those violations and redress the victims and those affected.

[1] UN Statement on Anti-Terrorism Law

[2] International Commission of Jurists Statement on Anti-Terrorism Law

[3] Amnesty Statement on Anti-Terrorism Law

[4] HRW Statement on Anti-Terrorism Law

CPJ: Bahrain detains blogger on 'national security concerns'

New York, August 17, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the detention of a blogger and human rights activist since Friday. The official Bahrain News Agency quoted a security source claiming that Abduljalil Alsingace was arrested based on national security concerns that could "damage the country's stability." The unnamed security official went on to say that Alsingace had "abused the freedom of opinion and expression prevailing in the kingdom."

Alsingace was arrested at the Bahrain International Airport while reentering the country after a visit to London, where he spoke at the House of Lords about human rights in Bahrain, his lawyer, Mohamed Ahmed, told CPJ. Alsingace also publishes articles critical of the government on his blog Al-Faseela. Authorities briefly blocked local access to his blog in 2009.

"The language used by the authorities sends a chilling message to bloggers and journalists to remain silent or face arrest in the run-up to parliamentary elections slated for October," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We call on Bahraini authorities to release Abduljalil Alsingace immediately."

Alsingace has been held for the past four days without access to his lawyer or family. His lawyer told CPJ that the authorities have not specified any charges against him.

His friend Abbas al-Omran, who is also a Bahraini rights activist, told CPJ that he is concerned about Alsingace's health. Alsingace uses a wheelchair and is on medications that he was not able to take with him to jail, al-Omran said.

Committee to Protect Journalists

Islamic Human Rights Commission: Increasing concern over arrest of human rights activists in Bahrain

16 August 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Increasing concern over Bahraini human rights activist arrested after speaking at House of Lords

Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Haq Movement, which promotes human rights and democracy in Bahrain, was arrested at Manama Airport on the morning of 13 August, 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.

Al-Singace’s arrest was followed by the arrests of several other senior activists. Abdul Ghani Al-Khanjar, the spokesman of the Committee of Martyrs and Victims of Torture, Sheikh Saeed Al-Nouri and Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al-Miqdad, who have campaigned against political repression in the country, were arrested in early morning raids on their homes on 16 August. Several other activists had already been arrested on 14 and 15 August, as protests against Al-Singace’s arrest spread around the country.

Shortly after Al-Singace’s arrest, the IHRC contacted Sheikh Hamad Abdullah Bin Khalifa, Head of Security in Bahrain, who confirmed that Al-Singace was being held but refused to give any further information. The following day, on 14 August, 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.

The current whereabouts of Al-Singace, who is disabled and restricted to a wheelchair, is unknown. His lawyer, Muhammad Al Tajir, has said that he has not been able to locate him. His wife and daughters, who were travelling with him, were also arrested, but were released after being interrogated.

Massoud Shadjareh, Chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said:

“The arrest of Abdul Jalil Al-Singace appears to be a deliberate slap in the face of those campaigning for human rights in Bahrain, especially coming so soon after the King of Bahrain promised activists the freedom to work in the country. Bahrain has a very poor human rights record, and it appears to be getting worse. There are serious concerns that the plight of opposition leaders will become even more difficult in the run-up to the elections due on October 23. All those committed to freedom, human rights and justice, must demand the immediate release of Al Singace and other political prisoners, and a radical change in the Bahraini regime’s approach to legitimate and peaceful political activism in the country.”

Islamic Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Watch: Bahrain: Charge or Release Opposition Activists

Government Opponents Apparently Detained for Criticism of Government

To the left:Abd-al Ghani al-Khanjar and to the right: Abd al-Jalil al-Singace

If the government of Bahrain can show these activists are engaged in criminal behavior, why is it resorting to vague and anonymous allegations? A country that respects human rights, as Bahrain claims to do, does not arrest people just because they harshly criticize the government. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

August 17, 2010

(Washington, DC) - The Bahraini government should immediately release four opposition activists detained in recent days or bring formal charges against them, Human Rights Watch said today. The men's whereabouts are unknown, and they have not been allowed to contact their families or lawyer. Several uniformed and plainclothes officers took Abd al-Jalil al-Singace into custody at Bahrain International Airport on August 13, 2010, as he returned from London with his family. Security forces arrested three other activists, Abd-al Ghani al-Khanjar, Sheikh Said al-Nuri, and Sheikh Muhammad Habib al-Moqdad, on August 15. Both al-Singace and al-Khanjar had attended a conference at the House of Lords in London on August 5, during which they criticized Bahrain's human rights practices.

Bahraini media cited unnamed security officials as saying they had arrested al-Singace for "inciting violence and terrorist acts." On Friday evening, according to Bahraini media, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa told other high officials that security forces would take "necessary measures" against "those who defame the country," although he apparently did not mention al-Singace by name.

"If the government of Bahrain can show these activists are engaged in criminal behavior, why is it resorting to vague and anonymous allegations?" said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "A country that respects human rights, as Bahrain claims to do, does not arrest people just because they harshly criticize the government."

The state-run Bahrain News Agency on August 15 cited a source at the National Security Agency as saying that security forces had arrested al-Khanjar, al-Nuri, and al-Moqdad for unspecified activities intended to "undermine security and stability in the country."

As of the evening of August 16 authorities had not brought the four before the public prosecutor, as required by law, or formally charged them, although al-Singace had been in custody well over the 48-hour limit specified in Bahraini law for filing charges.

Muhammad al-Tajer, the lawyer for the four, told Human Rights Watch that as of today the government had refused to provide him and the men's family members with information regarding their whereabouts or reasons for their arrests. None had been brought to the Public Prosecution Office or charged with any crime. The Public Prosecution Office "told me that there isn't even a case number for my clients at the moment," al-Tajer said.

Security officials who arrested al-Singace at the airport initially told his family that they would take him to the Public Prosecution Office for questioning at 9 p.m. that evening, but as of today, neither his lawyer nor his family had seen or been able to make contact with him.

"My father has vanished," Husain al-Singace, Abd al-Jalil al-Singace's son, told Human Rights Watch. "Most of all we are worried about his health. He is fasting [for Ramadan] and he cannot walk on his own. We don't even know if he is in a wheelchair or not."

Al-Singace, who teaches engineering at the University of Bahrain, has difficulty getting around without a wheelchair or crutches. He is a leader of the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy, an opposition political organization based in the country's Shi`a community that has advocated boycotting elections and elected officials.

Al-Tajer told Human Rights Watch that he has contacted numerous government agencies and officials since August 13, including the Interior Ministry, but none acknowledged having arrested the four or provided information about their cases. He said he believes the National Security Agency is holding them, but because this is an intelligence agency he has been unable to speak with anyone there.

On August 14, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Bahrain's Interior Minister, Lieutenant General Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa, asking that officials allow al-Singace to contact his family and lawyer and seeking information about his whereabouts and the reasons for his arrest and detention. The government has not responded to this request.

Al-Singace's family said security officials at the airport confiscated al-Singace's laptop and mobile phone, along with other personal effects. Muhammad al-Khanjar, Abd al-Ghani al-Khanjar's brother, told Human Rights Watch that security forces confiscated al-Khanjar's laptop and personal effects when they raided his home at about 3:30 a.m. on August 15 and arrested him. Muhammad al-Khanjar said that authorities again searched his brother's home around the same time on August 16. Abd al-Ghani al-Khanjar is spokesperson for the Bahraini National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture. Al-Tajer, the lawyer, said that security forces conducted similar raids at the homes of al-Nuri and al-Moqdad.

At this writing there were further arrests on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Authorities arrested Jaffar al-Hessabi, who lives in London, at Bahrain International Airport as he returned from a trip to Iran. Authorities also arrested Muhammad Saeed, Mirza al-Mahroos, and Abd-al Hadi al-Mukhuder in their homes. Saeed is a board member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

Bahrain is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 9 of the ICCPR states that "anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him," and "shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power."

Under Bahraini criminal law, authorities must present suspects to the Public Prosecution Office within 48 hours of arrest. The Public Prosecution Office is required to question the detainee "immediately" or, if not feasible, within 24 hours. After questioning, prosecutors must decide whether to charge the suspect with a criminal offense and, if they file charges, whether to continue his detention or order his release. Suspects have the right to have a lawyer present while being questioned by the Public Prosecution Office.

Bahrain's 2006 counterterrorism law allows security forces to detain a suspect for up to 15 days before presenting the person to the public prosecutor, a period that does not appear to meet the ICCPR's requirement of "promptly" presenting the accused before a judicial body. Authorities have not invoked this law in connection with these detentions.

"The government is holding these men incommunicado and has failed to provide any information about why they have been arrested and where they are being held," Stork said. "At the very least, they detainees should be allowed to contact their immediate families and seek the assistance of counsel."

Human Rights Watch

The Rights Alliance Statement on The Security Escalation and Arrests

From Left to Right: Khanjar, Al-Meqdad, Alnouri, Alsingace

17th August 2010

The security authority in The Kingdom of Bahrain, launched surprising campaign of arrests covering human rights and political activists of whom Dr.Abdul Jalil Alsingace, spokesman and head of human rights committee at HAQ (opposition group arrested at dawn upon arrival to the airport on 13th. Aug 2010) , Mr. Abdulghani khanjar, spokesman of The Alliance for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation ( ATJR), and head of The Committee for defense of Martyrs and Victims of Torture, sheikh Mohmed Almeqdad, head of Alzahra Charity Society, and sheikh Saeed Alnouri, of Alwafa ( opposition group), who were arrested at the dawn of 14 Aug. 2010 without judicial warrant and in terrorizing method. A number of activists of different parts of the country were kidnapped , tortured . sexually harassed. and then throw them away of their residents. The arrest operation was accompanied by media campaign of incitement of hatred against the detainees and those opposing the Ruling policy. The security authority, cited the reasons of arrest as "adversely affecting the national security in Bahrain internally and externally, which endanger the country stability, and inciting violence and terrorist acts harmful to the public and private property, through the misuse of the freedom of opinion and expression predominant in Bahrain. The Security Authority proclaimed the existence of a network designed to undermine security, and stability in the country and endanger public peace.; to propagate false and cunny information on the internal affairs abroad and to plan organizing event to commemorate the so called National Day during this month. The campaign of arrests was accompanied by severe actions of quelling the protests , and excessive force, including use of fire arms against spontaneous protests after the arrests at different parts of the country amid volatile atmosphere

The Alliance expresses grave concern towards the unknown destiny of the detainees , as they had no audience with The Public Prosecutor ,despite days of their arrest, the refusal of visitation by their lawyers and families, and not revealing where about their detention. These are indications of enforcing The Law Against Terrorism, which abuses basic rights and liberties and condemned by major international human rights organization , upon their trial.

The Alliance demands immediate stop of the widespread abuses of the rights of individuals and groups in practicing their civil and political rights , including peaceful political opposition , human rights activities, and various forms of expression inside and outside the country. It is alarming to consider such activities as threat to state security or plotting or considering the society self organization as a secret networking or other accusation. The Alliance demands an end to let loose the security and intelligence organs institutions. The Alliance call for dealing with the realities and envisaging political solutions.

The Alliance assures that the wide actions of protest , is due compiling political , economic and livelihood problems confronting the citizens daily. There is a need for real addressing of such problems to solve such problems through national dialogue between the Rule and the politico-social forces.

The Alliance cal for the release of the four detainees and subsequent detainees, an end of kidnapping and arrest, and the release of all groups of prisoners and detainees , claimed by the rule as security detainees.

The Alliance for Truth ,Justice and Reconciliation 17 Aug 2010

1-Islamic Natioal Alwefaq socity 2-National Democratic Action Society 3-The Democratic Progressive Forum Society 4-The Islamic Actionion Society 5-Bahrain Center for Human Rights 6-Bahrain Human Rights Society 7-Committee for the Defense of Martyrs and Victims of Torture 8- Haq movement for Rights and Liberties 9- Committee of the Returnees 10-The Committee for Stateless 11- The Bahraini Youth Society for Human Rights

IHRC: Open letter to Khalifa bin Sulman Al Khalifa, prime minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Re: Arrest and detention of human rights activist Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace

We are extremely concerned about the detention of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Haq Movement, who was arrested at Manama Airport on the morning of 13 August, when returning to Bahrain after a visit to London.

According to reports we have received, Dr. Al-Singace – who is severely disabled and confined to a wheelchair – was roughly handled during his arrest. His wife and daughters were arrested with him, and only released after several hours. Mr Mohammad Al Tajir, Dr. Al-Singace’s lawyer, has reportedly been unable to locate him or meet with him to ensure his welfare. We are equally concerned about the subsequent arrests of other activists in Bahrain since Dr. Al-Singace’s arrest, including Abdul Ghani Al Khanjar, the spokesman of the Committee of Martyrs and Victims of Torture, Sheikh Saeed Al Nouri and Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al Miqdad, Mr. Jaffar Al-Hessabi, Dr. Mohammed Saeed, Mr.Mirza Al-Mahroos, and Mr.Abdulhadi Al-Mukhuder.

This is a serious development about which we and other observers of Bahraini affairs are extremely concerned. Dr Al-Singace is an internationally renowned figure, known for representing the political aspirations of the Bahraini people around the world. During his visit to London, he spoke at a seminar at the House of Lords of the British Parliament 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.

You should also be aware, therefore, that Bahrain’s image in the world is seriously affected by such incidents, of which there have been too many in recent months and years. Bahrain is a country with pretensions to political reform and moderation, as reflected in Shaikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa’s statement on 12 August appealing for critics of the government to return to the country, and promising them freedom of speech and action. These pretensions are totally exposed by episodes such as this one, which can only raise questions about the sincerity of the government in its claims to be progressive and democratic.

The recent arrests are blatant breaches of Bahrain’s commitment under international treaties of which it is a signatory. In its response to the UN Human Rights Committee’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report, the Kingdom of Bahrain reiterated its intention to improve the human rights situation in Bahrain, including on the issue of arbitrary detention. Episodes such as this latest one shows to the world that Bahrain still fails to respect the rights of civil society activists, opposition groups and other Bahrainis to free assembly, association and speech, or to guarantee that the repression and persecution of such groups is ended.

The IHRC demands the immediate release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, as this arrest is clearly a reaction to his legitimate and peaceful work in the defense of the human rights of all Bahrainis. You, as the head of the government, should be aware that this baseless detention reflects poorly on the international image of Bahrain, and should take immediate steps to end his detention. You should also ensure that all government officials and agencies are made aware that this is not an acceptable way to conduct the governance of the country. Any failure on your part to do this will confirm suspicions that the Bahraini government’s commitment to freedom and human rights is hollow, opportunistic and worthless.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

Massoud Shadjareh Chair Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 August 2010 13:41 )

Bahrain: Detaining a Blogger by Royal Incitement The Arabic Network Demands Releasing Abd El Galil Al Singace

Cairo August 15th , 2010 The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information condemned today , the Bahraini security arresting of the human rights activist , blogger and academic , Abd El Galil AlSingace,PhD and chairman of the human rights office in Haq movement for rights and freedoms. AlSingace was arrested upon his return from London on 13/8/2010 for allegations of ” disseminating false news about internal affairs in Bahrain and defaming judiciary and executive authorities”. AlSingace took part in a session in the British house of Lords discussing human rights violations in Bahrain.

AlSingace , owner of the blog Fassila, http://alsingace.katib.org, which the Bahraini authority have blocked in February 2009, has criticized escalating torture and discrimination in Bahrain as well as the poor status of public freedoms in a session of the house of the Lords in London. These made the king of Bahrain attack human rights activists and demand their arrest that which security considered as a green light to detain AlSingace upon his arrival from London without regard to his delicate health condition. Not only that secutiy ill-treated him ,

but assaulted Singace’s family as well. Security forced his family out of the airport where they were staging a sit in protesting Singace arbitrary detention. Later, they used tear gas, rubber bullet and sound bombs to disperse supporters. Singace’s brother and sister were hurt among others.

This is not the first detention for Singace .He was detained earlier in 2008 for his opinions and for defending human rights. He was then released for poor health.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, expressed deep surprise regarding the attack of king of Bahrain on activists , tarnishing them , inciting against them and considering them dangerous to the security of Bahrain in order to forcibly silence and them so as not to expose the crimes of the Bahraini government and their persistent violations of human rights and public freedoms.

ANHRI said, ” Arresting AlSingace for the second time and blocking his blog, is a part of the repression against human rights activists in Bahrain and a clear display of discrimination against Shiites. It clearly reveals the intention of the Bahraini government to silence critics, greatly risking the limited margin for civil and political freedoms , especially freedom of expression.

The situation threatens going back to the era of the British criminal , Ian Henderson ,who is accused of committing crimes against humanity ,acts of torture and repression of dissidents during his term as head of the General Intelligence Service in Bahrain in the seventies and the nineties of the last century. “

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

Front Line –Human rights defenders Dr. Abduljalil Al Singace and Mr Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar arrested

To the left Dr. Abduljalil Al Singace, and to the right Mr Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar

15 August 2010

Abduljalil Al Singace was arrested on 13 August 2010 at Bahrain International Airport whilst reentering the country. Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar's was arrested on 15 August. Abduljalil Al Singace is an academic, and is Spokesman and Director of the Human Rights Bureau of the Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy, an opposition political movement. Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar is the spokesperson for the Bahraini National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture.

Early on the morning of Friday 13 August 2010, Abduljalil Al Singace was returning to Bahrain with his family from London when he was detained at Bahrain International Airport. While in London, Abduljalil Al Singace had addressed a seminar on Bahrain in the House of Lords on 5 August, during which he spoke about the situation of human rights in the country. He also visited several international human rights organisations whilst in the United Kingdom.

Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar was arrested on the morning of Sunday 15 August, following protests which reportedly broke out in response to Abduljalil Al Singace's arrest. Neither of the human rights defenders have been formally charged with any offence, but it has been reported that a security official has accused them of "belonging to a network threatening "Bahrain's stability, civil peace and endangering the lives and property of the innocent (through) incitement to violence and terrorist acts".

The Bahrain News Agency (BNA) has reported that the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al- Khalifa, recently called upon security officials to apply the law fully against anyone who stands in the country’s development. On 13 August, he reportedly told officers during a meeting that any form of incitement which harms and misleads citizens must be stopped, and that the instigators of any incitement should be held responsible for their actions. Shortly afterwards, Bahrain’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, issued a statement in which he confirmed that government bodies would direct their resources to prevent such instigation. "We will deal with them within the boundaries of law, which is supreme in the country," the statement said. "Those who do not hear the voice of reason or deliberately choose to ignore it will hear the voice of law." It is thought that this crackdown on civil society by the authorities may be related to parliamentary elections which are scheduled to take place on 23 October next.

Abduljalil Al Singace was previously arrested in January 2009 along with other members of the Haq Movement in relation to an alleged “terror plot”. In February 2009, Abduljalil Al Singace and eight other prominent human rights defenders staged a hunger strike in protest at the ongoing detention of various other human rights defenders. In February 2010, Abduljalil Al Singace and Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar were amongst several prominent Bahraini human rights defenders targeted in a media defamation campaign after the release of a Human Rights Watch report on the use of torture in the country. Front Line has previously issued urgent appeals on behalf of Abduljalil Al Singace on 18 February 2010 and on 2 March 2009. Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar has previously been subject to a travel ban by the Bahraini authorities. Front Line issued an urgent appeal on his behalf on 18 February 2010 and 3 December 2008.

Front Line believes that the arrest of Abduljalil Al Singace and Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar is directly related to their work in the defence of human rights in Bahrain. Front Line fears for the physical and psychological integrity and security of Abduljalil Al Singace and Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar.

Front Line calls on the Bahraini authorities to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release Abduljalil Al Singace and Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar, as it is believed that their arrest has taken place solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights; 2. Ensure that the treatment of Abduljalil Al Singace and Abdul Ghani al-Kanjar, whilst in detention, adheres to all those conditions in the “Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment”, adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988; 3. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

Front Line