Bahrain: 13 human rights organisations have sent a joint letter to the King of Bahrain to demand the commutation of death sentences of Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali

photo Ali Alarab and Ahmed Almalali

On 30 May 2019, the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) and 12 other Human Rights groups have urged the King of Bahrain to commute the death sentences of two Bahraini torture victims, Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali.

On 6 May 2019, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the death sentencesfor 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. 

In this letter, we also call upon the King to commute all the death sentences issued and to institute an immediate moratoriumon executions, with a view to the abolition of death penalty. In Bahrain, no executions have been performed in 2018. Bahrain has maintained a de factomoratorium from 2011 to 2017. On 15 January 2017, Ali Al-Singace, 21, Abbas Al-Samea, 27, andSami Mushaima, 42, were unlawfully executed. They were arrested and convicted of planning a bomb which killed police officers in 2014. The executions occurred after that the victims had been tortured to extract a false confession. Currently 20 Bahraini citizens are on the death row, 9 of them at imminent risk of execution. Recently, MEP Julie Wardhas addressed a letter to the Bahraini ambassador in Brussels to raise the issue of Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali.

The ECDHR renews is concern over the persistent use of death penalty as a tool to crush dissent. We condemn this deplorable practice. We call the government of Bahrain to immediately abolish death penalty, cognisant of the fact that this move would represent a breakthrough towards the abolition in the entire Gulf region.