53 Members of the European Parliament Urged the King of Bahrain to Commute or Pardon 12 men on Death Row

23 July 2020 – 53 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) today wrote to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, calling on him to commute the death sentences passed against Maher Abbas al-Khabbaz, Salman Isa Ali Salman, Hussein Abdullah Khalil Ebrahim, Mohammad Radhi Abdulla Hassan, Sayed Ahmed Fuad Abbas Isa Ahmed Al-Abar, Ali Mahdi Jasim Mohamed, Hussein Ebrahim Ali Hussein Marzooq, Moosa Abdallah Moosa Jafaar ,Mohamed Ramadan and Hussein Ali Moosa, Hussain Abdullah Marhoon Rashid, Zuhair Ebrahim Jasim Abdullah.

Read the full letter HERE

The letter centres upon the 13 July 2020 decision of the Court of Cassation which upheld the death sentence against Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa. Security forces arrested Moosa, 33, on 21 February 2014, and Ramadhan, 37, on 18 February 2014, on charges of attacking police with terrorist purpose.  Their arrests followed a bombing in the village of Al-Dair that resulted in the death of a Bahraini policeman. Both Ramadhan and Moosa were convicted and sentenced to death on December 29, 2014, with their sentences being upheld 13 July 2020. Both men allege that they were subjected to torture and have been the subjects of intense international  attention.

The MEPs highlight concerns raised in Feburary by the international community in anticipation of the trail, and in the days following the decision not to stay the death sentence against Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa. Furthermore, the letter highlights the issuance of a joint statement issued by the Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Maria Arena and Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula Hannah Neumann concerning failures of the judicial system in Bahrain to exclude evidence coerced through torture.

The letter highlights the growing international pressure on the Kingdom to halt the use of torture in the judicial and penal systems, and is complemented by  today’s a joint letter to the king issued by 16 international and Bahraini rights groups, including Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahraini Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and Human Rights Watch. It is hoped that the combination of these letters will increase pressure on the Bahraini king to use his executive power to pardon the twelve political prisoners who remain at imminent risk of execution.