RNA - “Despite its rhetoric on reform, Bahrain is moving in the wrong direction by reinstating the death penalty,” Lama Fakih, deputy director in the New York-based group’s Middle East and North Africa division, said.
She added, “This irreversible punishment is cruel in all cases, but all the more so here amid evidence that the accused were tortured and denied fair trials. The death penalty is an archaic punishment that should be halted immediately.”
Fakih called on Bahrain’s European allies to “use their leverage to press” the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom to abolish the death penalty, “or at the very least, to reinstate the moratorium on executions.”
On May 12, Bahrain’s supreme court of appeal upheld death sentences against Zuhair Ibrahim Jassem and Mohammad Mahdi.
The two men were arrested separately on February 9, 2017 and sentenced with 58 other defendants on January 31, 2018, in a trial marred by allegations of torture and due process violations.
Bahrain court hands down jail terms to 10 dissidents
Meanwhile, a court in Bahrain has handed down prison sentences to nearly a dozen anti-regime protesters as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy activists in the country.
The court sentenced a defendant to life imprisonment and ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 dinars ($265,957). The same court also slapped jail terms of seven years against seven dissidents. Two other men were given three years in prison each, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
The defendants were convicted on charges of membership in the February 14 Youth Coalition — an opposition protest movement named after the date of the beginning of a popular uprising against the Manama regime, and attacking a police station.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
According to Press TV, Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.