ADHRB Submits Brief on Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to OHCHR

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) has submitted a brief for the Secretary-General of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ forthcoming report on the question of the death penalty. ADHRB’s brief details the legal parameters for capital punishment in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as recent developments since 1 April 2015, as requested by the Secretary-General.

While there have been no legal developments regarding capital punishment in Saudi Arabia since 1 April 2015, the government has dramatically increased its rate of execution. Including the mass execution of 47 people on 2 January – political activist and cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr among them – Saudi authorities have reportedly executed 80 people so far this year. In less than four months, the Saudi government has carried out more than half the amount of executions it committed in all of 2015, during which it executed 158 people. The prevalence of torture and due process violations within the Saudi criminal justice system exacerbates this increased capital punishment rate.

Though Bahrain has not carried out any executions since before 1 April 2015, its courts continue to issue death sentences. Of the ten individuals currently on death row, at least three were reportedly tortured into making false confessions. Although two individuals recanted these coerced confessions, the authorities ultimately used them to secure their convictions. These men, Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa, are the first persons since 2010 to have exhausted all legal avenues of appeal. They stand at risk of imminent execution.

To read the full brief, click here.