Torture investigator orders new Bahrain death penalty hearing

By agency reporter
March 30, 2018

Acting on recommendations from UK-trained torture investigators, Bahrain’s Attorney General has requested that the country’s highest court reconsider the death sentences handed to two men convicted on the basis of forced confessions obtained through torture.
 
Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa were sentenced in December 2014 for supposed involvement in a bombing that killed a police officer in Bahrain. The country's Special Investigations Unit (SIU), a UK-trained body set up to investigate allegations of misconduct and torture, recommended the case was referred to the Court of Cassation after new medical evidence emerged.
 
The Attorney General of Bahrain, Dr Ali bin Fadhl Al-Buainain, said in a statement posted on social media on 28 March 2018 that the cases were being referred “in accordance with the requirements of justice.”

This comes at a time when there are other facing imminent execution, Including Maher Abbas who has had his death sentence confirmed despite Bahrain’s highest court accepting that he was convicted on the basis of a confession obtained through torture. 
 
Reprieve and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) are now calling for:  

  • the SIU to make public its findings and the details of its investigation into Mohamed and Husain's torture allegations
  • all imminent executions to be stayed pending SIU investigations into all further torture allegations
  • the UK and EU to commit to trial monitoring for any new trials

Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve, said: “This belated recognition that Mohamed and Husain's trial was unfair is welcome but it comes after they have already suffered torture, including being stripped naked, beaten with iron rods and having their families threatened with rape. Bahrain must now go further and allow the Special Investigation Unit to review all death penalty cases where there were allegations of torture. This must include the case of Maher Abbas, who is facing imminent execution despite concerns expressed by Bahrain’s highest court that he was coerced into confessing.”

Sayed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD, said: “Mohamed and Husain should never have faced a death sentence. It is important that the full findings of this investigation are shared with their lawyers immediately so we can know the truth of the abuse they suffered. Any retrial must meet international standards and in the meantime both men should be released and allowed to return to their families after more than three years of imprisonment and abuse.”

* Read the Attorney General's statement here

* Reprieve https://reprieve.org.uk/

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