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 al‐Singace has been charged with and the conditions of his detention.

The BHRC recalls the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which provides that human rights defenders have the right to “promote 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 “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…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 1 Adopted by the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/144 during the 53rd session on 8 March 1999. and human rights defenders, in order to preserve the independence and integrity of the administration of justice.

Yours sincerely
Mark Muller QC
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


Read the full letter here.