Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has written a letter to the Foreign Office asking them to put pressure on Bahraini authorities to release a number of political prisoners who have been imprisoned by the state.
Gwynne’s letter, which has garnered cross-party support, highlights the case of Dr Abduljalil AlSingace. Dr Alsingace is an academic, blogger and human rights defender who was one of several opposition figures imprisoned after the 2011 attempted uprising. Dr Alsingace has a PdD in Impact Mechanics from the University of Manchester, and is the former head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Bahrain.
On the 8 July 2021, Dr Alsingace began a hunger strike to protest degrading treatment he has allegedly been subjected to. Gwynne’s letter calls on the Foreign Office to intervene, and asks them to publicly call for Dr Alsingace’s release and also that of political prisoner Hassan Mushaima.
Dr Alsingace has a number of chronic health conditions, including post-polio syndrome. A number of high profile charities including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy have called for his immediate release.
Speaking after sending the letter, Andrew Gwynne said:
The situation in Bahrain is extremely worrying. A number of human rights charities have repeatedly raised concerns over the systematic abuse of prisoners in Bahrain, and so far the Government has been reluctant to condemn it.
The UK must take a firm stand against human rights abuses, and I urgently call on the Foreign Office to address the cases of Dr Alsingace and Hassan Mushaima and to call for their immediate release.
Time is of the essence and the Government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the increasingly concerning situation in Bahrain.