Bahrain

OHCHR Urges Bahraini Authorities to Immediately Halt Death Penalty against Ramadan and Moosa

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed grave concern that the Bahraini Court of Cassation, the Supreme Court of Bahrain, has upheld the death penalty against two Bahrainis, whose confessions were allegedly extracted under torture.

“Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Moosa Ali Moosa Mohamed were reportedly arrested without a warrant and arbitrarily detained for a bomb attack in February 2014 in which a police officer was killed. They were convicted in December 2014 and sentenced to death,” explained Liz Throssell, UN Human Rights Office spokesperson, on Tuesday, noting that “in 2018 the Court of Cassation quashed their convictions in light of concerns indicating they had been tortured and referred their case back to the Court of Appeal, which re-sentenced them to death.”

The spokesperson stressed that “the use of confessions extracted under torture in a trial that results in a death sentence violates both the absolute prohibition of torture as well as fair trial guarantees,” adding that this renders “the sentence arbitrary in nature and a violation of the right to life as set out in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

She further expressed that it is therefore of great concern that the Court of Cassation on Monday 13 July decided to uphold the death penalty against the two men.

Throssell urged the Bahraini authorities to halt immediately any plans to execute them, quash their convictions and ensure they are retried in accordance with international human rights norms and standards.

The office further urged Bahrain to ensure its domestic laws are brought into line with international human rights law, to investigate all allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and the use of forced confessions, noting that it is essential those responsible are held to account and the recurrence of such acts is prevented.

“We also repeat our call to the Bahraini authorities to establish an official moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty,” concluded the OHCHR spokesperson.

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