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The Independent Ombudsman Office reveals the results of its investigations into the case of an inmate on hunger strike

The Independent Ombudsman Office has followed up on the case of the inmate (Abduljalil Al-Singace) since it received a notification from the Reform and Rehabilitation Center at Jau that the inmate had abstained from food on 8 July 2021 where advises and guidance were given to him at that time, but he did not respond and continued his hunger strike.

In view of the allegations raised about the case of the aforementioned inmate, which contradicts the reality of what happened, the Independent Ombudsman Office based on its investigations and information-gathering mechanism clarifies the following:

First: The Reform and Rehabilitation Center administration stated that it had identified the reasons for the inmate’s abstinence from food, which are according to what he claimed, the failure to deliver a bundle of papers  to his family and relatives, and that the origin of what happened was on 9 April 2021 when one of the inmates who stayed with him in the same building was released, and while being regularly inspected before leaving the Center, a bundle of handwritten papers was seized in his possession, and he stated that it belonged to the aforementioned inmate, in respect to the principle of privacy, the seized papers were taken to the aforementioned inmate as he was asked whether these papers belonged to him or not? He admitted that it belonged to him and requested to send it to his family and relatives.

The administration also stated that the aforementioned inmate had  intended to smuggle these papers with unknown content in a way that violated the system (smuggling), and they were conservated , despite it was possible to deliver the papers to his family according to the lawful rules and regulations, unless it contains what violates the laws of printing, publishing, intellectual property, and other laws regulating the issue of authorship publication and circulation of written materials. In all cases, the administration of the Center did not intend to confiscate these papers from him.

Second: The Independent Ombudsman Office commenced its investigation as it interviewed the inmate on Monday 19 July 2021 in the center’s clinic, where he is placed under observation and medical care. He was advised to abandon the hunger strike, but he refused, as well as refused to submit any statement to the Independent Ombudsman Office, sufficing what he had said to the Public Prosecution, also the inmate did not mention in any way that he had been subjected to mistreatment by the staff of the Reform and Rehabilitation Center.

Third: By referring to the administration of the center, it stated that advice and guidance is given to the inmate on a daily basis by the center officials and doctors to abandon his hunger strike until a legal decision is taken regarding  the papers he tried to smuggle is checked, but he refuses this advice and insisted on continuing his strike. Moreover, the inmate presented daily to the doctor in the center’s clinic to follow up his health condition and check his vital rates, he is also given an intravenous solution to maintain the blood sugar level. However, the inmate is fully conscious, and all internal organs are normal.

Fourth: It was found from the inmate's records that he obtains his right to virtual call and visits and his last video call was on 7 July 2021, which is one day before he announced his hunger strike.

Update: On 27 July 2021, The Independent Ombudsman Office contacted Al Singace’s family in order to convince him to abandon his hunger strike, on the other hand The Independent Ombudsman Office ensured that Al Singace’s is in contact with his family, where the last virtual contact was on  21 July, 2021 at 2:00 pm for half an hour,  whereas  another virtual contact will be arranged today the 27th of July. 

Conclusion: The Independent Ombudsman Office investigations concluded that the inmate, Abduljalil Al-Singace, was not deprived from communication and was not subjected to mistreatment, and that the reason for his hunger strike was the confiscation of the papers he wrote and he tried to smuggle them out of the Reform and Rehabilitation Center in violation of the rules and regulations of the place, as the healthcare and follow-up on his condition continue on a daily basis.