16February 2017 – In a resolution adopted today, the European Parliament condemned recent executions in Bahrain and Kuwait. European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights strongly welcomes the resolution and the European Parliament’s readiness to stand up for the respect of human rights and dignity. We see today’s resolution as a clear message to EU member states and governments in the Gulf that capital punishment, but above all torture and unfair trials leading up to it, must not be tolerated.
Members of the European Parliament “deeply deplored” the end of a de facto moratorium on death penalties in Bahrain and Kuwait and strongly called for a halt to the pending executions of Mohammad Ramadan and Husain Moosa and for their retrial in compliance with international standards.
In addition, the resolution called on the governments of Kuwait and Bahrain to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, who has been denied entry to Bahrain multiple times since 2011, to conduct a country visit, and to allow him unfettered access to detainees and to all places of detention.
On a more general note, European deputies called on the European External Action Service and EU Member States to work with the Bahraini authorities on the release of Nabeel Rajab, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Khalil Al-Halwachi as well as all peaceful dissenters and prisoners of conscience. They also condemned the arbitrary revocation of citizenship as means of crackdown on political opposition and activists and once again called on the Bahraini authorities to fully implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report, the Universal Periodic Review and the National Institute for Human Rights.
The resolutions further encourages reform efforts in Kuwait but also highlights the vulnerability of domestic workers in the country.
On 15 January 2017, Bahrain executed three torture victims, Ali Al-Singace, Abbas Al-Samea and Sami Mushaima. Convicted on capital offences following unfair trials, they were unlawfully executed by a firing squad. Al-Singace, Al-Samea and Mushaima were all arbitrarily arrested, tortured to confess, and deprived of access to legal counsel. The courts dismissed the defence’s arguments out of hand, and the torture allegations of the three were not properly investigated. They were sentenced to death in 2015 and executed less than a week after the highest court of appeal upheld their sentence in January 2017. Neither the condemned nor their families were informed of their impending executions, which represent the first capital punishments in Bahrain since 2010.
Kuwait has also recently carried out the executions of seven individuals. The executions were the first in several years in both countries, ending their respective moratoriums.
European Parliament issued two resolutions on Bahrain last year. The first, adopted on 4 February, called for a retrial of Mohammad Ramadan and Husain Moosa while the second, adopted on 7 July, strongly condemned an intensified crackdown on civil society and political opposition in the country.
Statements by our partner organisations
Husain Abdulla, Executive Director, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain: “The brutality of the death penalty has been condemned now by the UN, the EU and the European Parliament. Human rights violations do not go unnoticed. All executions in Bahrain must be immediately halted. Rather than persecuting victims, Bahrain should hold its police force accountable for abuse and torture.”
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy: “This is a landmark which must be noted. Bahrain must listen to the voices of the international community and halt the executions of Mohammad Ramadan and Husain Moosa, who were tortured and unfairly tried in court.”