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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
Bahrain
Aktiv seit 10. Mai 2019 | Noch 27 Tage Laufzeit

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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

 

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 21 June 2019.
  • Preferred language: Arabic or English. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Your Highness,

On 6 May 2019 the Court of Cassation upheld Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab and Ahmed Issa Ahmed al-Malali’s convictions and death sentences. The Fourth High Criminal Court in Bahrain had convicted the two men of offences which include «forming and joining a ‘terrorist’ group», after a mass trial involving 60 people in January 2018. A year later, on 28 January 2019 their sentences were upheld on appeal. Security officers tortured and ill-treated the two men to force them to sign «confessions» they had not read.

In a December 2018 letter, a group of United Nations experts stated that they were «extremely concerned by allegations that confessions implicating several defendants were obtained under torture and used as evidence in court.» The defendants in the letter included Ali al-Arab and Ahmed al-Malali.

We call upon your Highness not to ratify the death sentences imposed on the two men and ensure they are not executed. We urge you to order a retrial that fully complies with international fair trial standards, excludes evidence obtained under torture and without recourse to the death penalty; and to carry out an independent and impartial investigation into their allegations of torture. We acknowledge the authorities’ duty to prevent crime and bring those responsible to justice, but emphasize that this should always be done in accordance with Bahrain’s international human rights obligations; and urge you to commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment and immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

Kind regards,

Appeals to

Sheikh Hamad bin 'Issa Al Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa'a Palace, al-Manama
Bahrain

Fax: +973 1766 4587

Your Highness,

 

 

Copies to

Ambassade du Royaume de Bahreïn
Place des Etats-Unis 3bis
F-75116 Paris
FRANCE

Fax: 00331 / 47 20 55 75
E-mail: paris.mission@mofa.gov.bh ; ambassade@ambahrein-france.com
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