On 2nd October 2020, a letter signed by 15 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) was addressed to the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell, citing concern over ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain and strongly condemning the country’s use of the death penalty.
Read the full letter HERE
According to the letter, 23 out of the 34 individuals sentenced to death since 2014 have alledged torture and have been subjected to unfair trials. These individuals’ convictions were politically motivated. After Bahrain ended a seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in 2017, three men were executed despite evidence of arbitrary arrest, allegations of torture and denial of appropriate legal counsel.
The letter also cited concern for the cases of Mohammed Ramadan and Hussein Moosa, who were both convicted in an unfair trial that heavily, if not entirely, relied on evidence obtained through torture. In July 2020, both mens’ death sentences were upheld by the Court of Cassation, meaning they are now at risk of imminent execution after having exhausted all other legal remedies.
International organisations and local human rights groups, including various UN bodies, publicly denounced the denial of Mr. Ramadan and Mr Moosa’s right to a fair trial.
Based on these concerns, the MEPs asked the High Representative to publicly oppose the use of the death penalty, particularly the cases of Mohammed Ramadan and Hussein Moosa, and call for the release of all political prisoners. They also requested that the High Representative use his influence to apply pressure on Bahrain and hold those responsible of torture to account. Finally, the letter demanded that the European Union establish a human rights dialogue with Bahrain and remain vigilant concerning developments in the Gulf region, urging Bahrain to fulfill its international human rights obligations.