Over the past week, Bahrain has executed three people, and another individual has died after participating in protests responding to these executions.
Last Friday, the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) received word that Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali were likely to be executed as their families had been contacted for a “special visit” the last of which occurred in 2017 prior to the executions of Abbas al-Samea, Ali al-Singace, Sami Mushaima.
AlArab and AlMalali were convicted in a mass trial on 31 January 2018. Since being arrested in February 2017, there have been multiple accounts of horrific torture.They were subjected to electrocution and beatings, and AlArab had his toenails ripped out. When AlMalali was arrested, he was hit by two bullets in his hand, which caused fractures and were not removed for 23 days, and his leg was also broken.The trial itself was based off of coerced confessions retrieved through torture; AlArab was compelled to sign a confession while blindfolded. Furthermore, in the case of AlMalali he was sentenced in absentia.
On July 26 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Agnes Callamard appealed to Bahrain’s government to stop the executions. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also called for the government to immediately halt the executions, and several other human rights organisations including the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (ADHRB), and Members of European Parliament (MEPs) also expressed their concerns and called for the executions to be commuted.
Despite international outcry, AlArab and AlMalali were executed by a firing squad on Saturday 27 of July, along with a third individual about whom little is known. These were the first executions after a two-year moratorium; they serve as further evidence for the kingdom’s disregard for human rights.
In response to these executions, protests occurred in the capital city Manama, leading to another death which necessitates a legitimate inquiry. On Saturday, Mohammed al-Miqdad, who was 21 years old, passed away reportedly from gas inhalation due to tear gas which police had used on the protestors. However, the authorities are claiming he died from natural cases and remain unaccountable for violence carried out against protestors.
ECDHR condemns the executions of Ali AlArab and Ahmed AlMalali, and the extrajudicial killing of Mohammed al-Miqdad. While many human rights organisations and MEPs expressed their concerns and condemned the murders, more must be done. Bahrain continues to disregard human rights and will do so until stronger actions are taken.