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Startseite Urgent Actions 2017 03 Bahraini student in detention alleges torture Two men at risk of execution
FI 069/17-2
Abgeschlossen am 29. Juli 2019
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17.06.2019 deadline extension

We are extending the appeal deadline for Bahraini detainees Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab and Ahmed Issa Ahmed al-Malali until 29 July 2019. The two men remain at imminent risk of execution. Their case still requires urgent and massive mobilization.

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Two men at risk of execution

AI-Index: MDE 11/0341/2019

On 6 May 2019, the Bahraini Court of Cassation upheld the convictions and death sentences of Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab and Ahmed Issa Ahmed al-Malali. The two men were convicted of offences which include «forming and joining a 'terrorist' group», following an unfair mass trial. Both men were tortured. The death sentences will now go to the King for ratification.


Security forces arrested Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab (Ali al-Arab) and Ahmed Issa Ahmed al-Malali (Ahmed al-Malali) separately on 9 February 2017. They arrested Ali al-Arab, 25, with his cousin, Ahmed Mohammad Saleh al-Arab, a Bahraini nursing student, who escaped from Jaw prison with several other prisoners a few days earlier, on 1 January 2017. During the escape a policeman was killed. Members of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) tortured Ali al-Arab including by pulling off his toenails, giving him electric-shocks, beating him and forcing him to sign a «confession» while blindfolded. On 7 March 2017, Ali al-Arab was transferred to Dry Dock prison where he was severely beaten on both legs and consequently had difficulty standing.

Bahrain’s Coast Guard arrested Ahmad al-Malali, 24, in a joint operation with the CID, the Special Security Force Command, and the National Security Agency. During the operation Ahmad al-Malali was struck by at least two bullets and he sustained injuries including a broken leg. The bullets were surgically removed on 4 March 2017, after 23 days. Following his arrest, he was held incommunicado for two months at the CID, during which time he too was tortured including through beatings, electric-shocks, being forced to stand for long periods of time. He was forced to sign a «confession», the contents of which were not known to him.

On 22 August 2017, the mass trial of the two men and 58 other defendants began. Ali al-Arab and Ahmed al-Malali’s «confessions», which were obtained under torture, were admitted in court. On 31 January 2018, the Fourth High Criminal Court in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, issued its verdict convicting 60 defendants, including 12 in absentia. Ali al-Arab and Ahmad al-Malali, were sentenced to death, 56 others to prison terms varying between 5 years and life imprisonment, and two men were acquitted. The court also revoked the citizenships of 47 defendants. They were convicted of offences which include «forming and joining a ‘terrorist’ group», «training on the use of weapons and explosives», «murder and attempted murder of police officers», and «assisting the escape and hiding of other defendants in the case». Their appeal began on 8 March 2018. On 6 May 2019, the Cassation Court upheld the verdicts including the two death sentences.

On 21 April 2019, Ali al-Arab and Ahmed al-Malali were among 551 people whose nationalities were reinstated by order of the King.

Bahrain is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which recognizes the right to life and the right to a fair trial, which includes the right not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt. The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that «the imposition of a sentence of death upon conclusion of a trial in which the provisions of the [International] Covenant [on Civil and Political Rights] have not been respected constitutes a violation of article 6 of the Covenant» [right to life]. In its 2012 report, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions has reiterated that «it is arbitrary to impose the death penalty where the proceedings do not adhere to the highest standards of fair trial.»

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.

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