Letter in Support of Abduljalil Al-Singace


slide1 Abduljalil al-Singace taking part in March of royal court in Riffa


Abduljalil (AJ) Al-Singace has been detained as a political prisoner in Bahrain for more than four years now. His health in detention is now gravely deteriorating.  We are hoping this appeal for his release will capture the attention of authorities in the U.S. and in Bahrain, and that it will result in his release at least on humanitarian grounds.  We have gathered a number of signatures from CDDRL faculty and Draper Hills Summer Fellowship Program fellows and alumni.  Please email chriseo9@stanford.edu if you would be willing to add your name to the letter, and if so what affiliation and/or title (if any) you would like us to use to identify you.   


August 2015


To Whom It May Concern:

We, the undersigned faculty and 2015 fellows of the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program at Stanford University, write to express our profound concern over the continued imprisonment and detention condition of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, a prominent Bahraini academic and blogger, and urge you to do all in your power to ensure his speedy release and access to the highest standard of care that he requires. Dr. Al-Singace is a 2007 Draper Hills Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy Development, and the Rule of Law; and an outspoken advocate of democracy, development and rule of law in Bahrain for the past 15 years. Amnesty International and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have made appeals for his release.

The police in Bahrain arrested Al-Singace for his participation in peaceful protests in 2011. During his initial detention, security officials subjected Al-Singace to torture and ill-treatment, including forced standing, verbal and sexual assault, beatings, and prolonged solitary confinement. He was tried by a military court in June 2011 and sentenced to life in prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government with no due process. The undersigned CDDRL faculty who regularly engaged Al-Singace for three weeks in 2007 do not find these allegations in the least consistent with the character of the man we came to know and greatly respect during his fellowship here.

Al-Singace’s health has rapidly deteriorated since he was imprisoned, and he is kept from receiving crucial medical supplies. He suffers from post-polio syndrome, heart, eye, and sinus problems, and requires urgent nasal and ear surgery. Prison authorities have denied Al-Singace the specialist medical treatment that he urgently needs. He is currently being detained at the Al-Qalaa Hospital and is not permitted to go outdoors. He is also being denied access to books, television, radio, and pen and paper for writing.

On 21 March 2015, Al-Singace began a hunger strike in protest of the ill treatment of inmates and the poor, unsanitary conditions at Jau Prison. He has now completed 132 days of hunger strike.  His situation is extremely urgent.

We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace in addition to all human rights defenders and activists in Bahrain who are detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party. We urge that Dr. Al-Singace receive full and immediate access to specialized medical attention as a matter of urgency. We remind Bahrain of its obligations to comply with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. 

In May 2015, a group of 44 members of congress sent a letter to President Obama calling for Al-Singace’s release along with 12 other political prisoners.

Al-Singace is only one of many who have been jailed for expressing their beliefs. His continued strength and activism remains an inspiration to those still fighting within Bahrain and around the world for freedom and democracy.



CDDRL Faculty:

Director, Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI)  
Senior Fellow, FSI
Olivier-Nomellini Senior Fellow, FSI 
Professor of the Practice of Law Stanford University 
Senior Fellow, FSI 
Director, FSI Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution Professor of Political Science, Stanford University 
Senior Fellow, FSI Director, Ford-Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies  


2015 Draper Hills Summer Fellows:

May Al-Taher, Policy Researcher, Jordan

Oludutun Babayemi, Connected Development, Nigeria

Terith Chy, Human Rights Defender, Cambodia

Thinley Choden, Social Entrepreneur, Thinphu, Bhutan

Bruno Defelippe, Social Entrepreneur, Paraguay

Laura Gil, Political Advisor and Columnist, Columbia

Giorgi Gogia, Human Rights Defender, Georgia

Sergei Golubok, Lawyer, Island Law Offices, Russia

Roukaya Kasenally, Democracy Scholar, Mauritious 

Myat Ko, Yangon School of Political Science, Burma Aim

Kornchanok Raksaseri, Journalist, Thailand

Aleś Łahviniec, Vice-Chair, The Movement for Freedom, Belarus

Heba Morayef, Human Rights Defender, Egypt

Okechukwu Nwanguma, National Coordinator, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria 

Irene Ovonji-Odida, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender,  Uganda

Karina Sarmiento, Regional Director, Asylum Access, Equador

Maksym Savanevsky, pro-democracy activist, UCMC

Ala'a Shehabi, Co-founder, Bahrain Watch, Bahrain

Sumeja Tulic, Human Rights Defender, Bosnia

Teddy Warria, Social entrepreneur, Africa 2.0, Kenya


CDDRL Scholars and Staff:

Wellington Shih, Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, Taiwan

Vincent Maphai, Academic, Stanford University, South Africa

Sarina Beges, Associate Director, CDDRL


Draper Hills Summer Fellows Alumni:

Kingsley Bangwell (Nigeria '07), Team Leader, Youngstars Foundation

Givi Chanukvadze (Georgia '11), Economic Policy Research Center

Rabih El Chaer (Lebanon '07), President, Sakker El Dekkene

Maina Kiai (Kenya '07), Co-Director, InformAction Kenya; UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Jay Nishaant (Nepal '07), Executive President, Nepal Democracy Foundation (NDF)

Mohammed Nosseir (Egypt '08), Egyptian Liberal Politian and Writer

Aasiya Riaz (Pakistan '07), Joint Director, PILDAT

Zvisinei Sandi (Zimbabwe '07), PhD Student, George Washington University

Denis Volkov (Russia '13), Sociologist, Levada-Cetner (Moscow, Russia)



AJ's Wikipedia page:


AJ's article in the New York Times in 2009


Drapers Hill 2007 fellows cohort with AJ's profile:


Larry Diamond's piece in the Atlantic about AJ and Bahrain