On 6 March 2020, two Joint Letters on Death Sentence of Mohamed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa, signed by Members of the European Parliament, were sent to the High Representative Josep Borrell and to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The letter addressed to HR/VP Josep Borrell was signed by 45 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), while one addressed to King Hamad bin Isa was signed by 44 MEPs. Both letters requested urgent protection of the lives of two Bahraini citizens, who were repeatedly convicted of crimes “confessed” under torture: Mohamed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa.
Both men were arrested in 2014 and were victims of arbitrary arrest and torture. They were first convicted in December 2014, after an unfair trial which used their forced confessions as legal grounds for their conviction. Because of medical reports providing evidence of torture and international pressure that led to an investigation by Bahraini authorities, in 2018 the Court of Cassation sent the cases to the High Court of Appeals, that in January 2020 confirmed the death sentences of Mr Ramadhan and Mr Moosa.
In sentencing the two men to death a second time, Bahrain’s court has almost certainly based its ruling on confessions obtained under torture, and thereby totally disregarded international minimum standards of justice regarding fair trials, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
As regards to this situation, the signatories MEPs call for the King of Bahrain to release all political prisoners and launch a national dialogue with the leaders of the opposition. They urge Bahraini authorities to undertake investigation into all allegations of torture, and to uphold international standards by fully implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Istanbul Protocol).
Meanwhile, the MEPs urge the High Representative Josep Borrell to stand firm against death penalty by applying private and public pressures on the Bahraini authorities, to pressure the government in holding perpetrators of abuses accountabe for their acts, whatever their official and hierarquical position, thus abiding by its international commitments.
The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) welcomes this initiative by the Members of the European Parliament, and calls the European Union to stand firm in opposition to death penalty and torture, and to strongly promote fair trial standards