Three men executed in Bahrain amid international outcry

By agency reporter
July 27, 2019

Two torture victims, Ali AlArab (25) and Ahmed AlMalali (24), as well as a third unnamed individual, were executed by firing squad in Bahrain this morning (27 July 2019), according to the Bahraini Public Prosecution Office.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) says it "condemns these barbaric extrajudicial executions in the strongest possible terms."

The executions of AlArab and AlMalali went ahead despite significant international outcry and calls to halt the executions from the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the US Congress.

Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali were convicted and sentenced to death in a mass trial alongside 58 other men on 31 January 2018. In May 2019 – after they had exhausted all their legal appeals – five UN experts appealed to Bahrain to halt their executions amid “serious concerns” over the safety of their convictions and the fact that they have not received a fair trial.

Upon arrest, AlArab was ordered to kiss the boot of an officer and, when he refused, was repeatedly beaten. Later that day, he was taken to the prison clinic in a wheelchair. He was then coerced into signing a confession while blindfolded and subject to torture including electric shocks, severe beatings, and the removal of his toenails.

During his arrest, AlMalali was struck by at least two bullets in his hand and had his leg broken. The bullets were only removed 23 days later. He was held incommunicado for a month before being forced to sign a false confession. He was then sentenced in absentia.

Yesterday morning an inmate also informed BIRD that authorities at Jau Prison had tripled the presence of security officers and riot police in each building. In the afternoon, a Twitter account linked to Bahrain's intelligence tweeted that the King had ratified the two men’s executions.

AlArab and AlMalali’s families received a phone call from the prison asking them to attend a “special visit” yesterday afternoon. According to Article 330 of Bahrain’s Criminal Procedure Code, relatives of those scheduled for execution will be permitted a final visit “on the date fixed for the execution,” before the sentence is carried out.

According to human rights defender Ebtisam AlSaegh, who was in contact with both families, the visits were conducted in the presence of a high number of police officers, who subjected the families to thorough searches. Ebtisam posted a video in which she shouts out "We are against the death penalty!" while attempting to comfort AlMalali’s mother.

Commenting, BIRD’s Director Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, said: “This tragedy marks one of Bahrain’s darkest days. Ali and Ahmed were brutally tortured and forced to sign false confessions and have now lost their lives.

"It appears that the Bahraini government planned this meticulously, timing the executions to coincide with US, EU and UK legislative recesses in order to avoid international scrutiny. These crimes only happened because of the unconditional support lent to dictator Hamad by Washington and London.”

* Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy http://birdbh.org/

[Ekk/6]

 

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