UPDATE: United Nations Experts call on Bahrain to halt executions of Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali
On 21 May 2019, five United Nations (UN) experts issued a press release concerning the imminent executions of Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali. They commented on AlArab and AlMalali’s cases, stating that both were allegedly subjected to torture to coerce confessions and prevented from attending their trial. The experts “urge the Government of Bahrain to immediately halt the executions of the two men, to annul the death sentences against them and to ensure that they are retried in accordance with international law and standards”.
On 6 May 2019, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence for Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali. Both men were convicted for terrorism-related crimes in a mass trial on January 31, 2018. The fate of these men rests in the hands of the King of Bahrain, who could either ratify or reject the ruling.
Ali AlArab was arrested on 9 February 2018 in the house of an acquaintance by Ministry of Interior (MoI) security agents who did not present a warrant. They held him at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). During this time, Ali AlArab was forced into signing a confession while blindfolded. He was then transferred to Dry Dock Detention Center on 7 March. He arrived there bearing clear signs of torture. He was sentenced to death in a mass trial on 31 January 2018 for allegedly assisting in the famous 1 January 2017 escape from Jau Prison. He was also charged with killing a security officer on 29 January 2017. As part of his sentence, he was stripped of his citizenship, which was later reinstated.
Ahmed AlMalaliwas 23 years old when he was arrested on 9 February 2017 by the MoI’s Coast Guard, in a joint operation with the CID, the Special Security Force Command, and the National Security Agency (NSA). After his arrest, he was held incommunicado for a month, at which time officers torturedAhmed, including by electric shock. He was charged with possessing arms, training in the use of arms, and membership in a terror cell and on 31 January 2018 he was sentenced to death and denationalized, though his nationality was later reinstated.
In the light of those events, ECDHR and MEP Julie Wardcollaborated to enhance the cases of Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali. MEP Julie Ward decided to send a letter to the Bahraini ambassador in Brussels. Through this letter, she asked the King of Bahrain to drop their sentences and release them. She reminded that their sentences are a travesty of justice, for both were arbitrarily arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death in unfair mass trials which they were not allowed to attend.
European Centre for Democracy and Human rights (ECDHR) calls on the King of Bahrain to exercise his authority in the cases of Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali to halt the executions and move to abolish capital punishment. Furthermore, we urge on the government of Bahrain to institute for a moratorium on executions in Bahrain.