Tuesday 29 September 2020 
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Rights groups urge Bahraini regime to stop executions of protesters

Sixteen international and Bahraini human rights groups have urged Bahrain’s self-styled King Hamad bin Isa Aal-e Khalifa to commute the death sentences handed down to two nationals, stressing that the pair who suffered torture were not afforded a fair trial.

Back in February 2014, security forces of Aal-e Khalifa regime detained Hussain Moosa, 34, and Mohamed Ramadhan, 37, accusing them of attacking police “with terrorist purpose,” and an alleged bombing that year in the village of al-Dair that led to the death of a policeman.

In December that year, Moosa, a hotel employee, and Ramadhan, a security guard at Bahrain International Airport, were initially handed down death sentences by a criminal court.

The pair appealed the sentences and the case was referred to the High Criminal Court of Appeal, which confirmed the verdicts in March 2015. Eight months later, the case reached the Court of Cassation that upheld the rulings.

The death penalties were later overturned after the emergence of a previously undisclosed medical report by the Bahraini Interior Ministry. The report, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), appeared to corroborate assertions that both men had been tortured to give false confessions.

However, an appeals court finally reinstated the death sentences in January 2020, and earlier this month, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld them against the two anti-regime activists.

Addressing the Bahraini king, the letter by 16 human rights groups, including the HRW and Amnesty International, urged him not to ratify the death sentences imposed on Moosa and Ramadan, and to ensure that they are not executed. 

Both defendants said their confessions had been obtained under torture and that neither of them was able to meet with his lawyer any time before the trial.

Bahrain has seen anti-regime protests over the past nine years. The major demand has been the ouster of the Aal-e Khalifah regime and establishment of a just and conclusive system representing all Bahraini nationals.

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