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
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.