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UN Special Rapporteur Extremely Concerned about Health of Al-Singace, Al-Khawaja and Fateel

2023-09-18 - 3:50 p

Bahrain Mirror: "I am extremely concerned about the deteriorating health of Mr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Mr. Naji Fateel. Medical negligence and lack of adequate care has left them in a worrying state," said Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

"Both their detention and the ill-treatment they have suffered in prison violate the rights to free expression, opinion and assembly that must be guaranteed to human rights defenders," she said.

"Mr. Al-Singace is unable to walk or exercise properly because of his physical impairment(s) which deteriorated in detention," she said. "The treatments that are necessary to alleviate his condition have been repeatedly denied." "A metal rod that was supposed to be removed from the defender's leg 10 years ago has become inflamed, making it difficult for him to walk," Lawlor said.

"Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, whose heart palpitations and tremors put him at increased risk of heart attack, struggles to maintain his range of motion," she said.

"Restrictions by authorities limiting access to television, newspapers and religious materials have affected the defenders' ability to practice their religion," she said. "This was most recently the case with Mr. Al-Singace, whose ability to perform rites associated with the holy month of Muharram was undermined."

"Swift measures must be taken to ensure that detainees have access to appropriate and adequate medical care," Lawlor said.

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