Bahrain must drop death penalty sentences against victims of torture

On 25 September 2020, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 45 during interactive debate under item 4.

Madam President.

As we sit here today, there are 26 people facing execution in Bahrain, of whom 12 are political prisoners who have exhausted all legal remedies and now face imminent execution. Since Bahrain abandoned a de facto moratorium on the death penalty in 2017, six men have been executed, with torture being alleged in at least five of these cases.

Just last month, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld sentences against torture victims Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa, despite outcry from the international community, NGOs and several UN Special Procedures. These men were subjected to brutal torture and coerced into confessing crimes they did not commit. Husain’s forced confession was used to sentence both men to death in a trial replete with due process violations.

This year alone, at least four individuals have had their final appeals against their death sentences rejected by Bahrain’s Court of Cassation, including father-of-five Zuhair Abdullah, despite serious allegations of torture. Many others in Bahrain face a similar fate.

To conduct executions without respect to the highest level of due process is a violation of both Bahrain’s constitution and international law. We call on the HRC to urge Bahrain to commute the death sentences of all political prisoners facing imminent execution and to allow the Special Rapporteur on torture to visit the country and ensure Bahrain’s compliance with the UN Convention against Torture.

Thank you,