GIDHR: Upholding death sentences against two torture victims infringes the International Criminal Law

July 13, 2020 - Bahrain's Court of Cassation upheld today death sentences against prisoners of conscience and torture victims, Mohamed Ramadan and Hussein Moosa. Hence, the detainees have exhausted all degrees of litigation.
 
The court's verdicts against Ramadan and Moosa relied on the latter's confessions, which were extracted under severe torture. Besides, the court ignored complaints of torture and ill-treatment filed with the Ombudsman.

Today's verdict ignored the abolition of death sentences in October 2018, which was based on a medical report by the Interior Ministry documenting injuries to Hussein Moosa's wrists. 

Following international pressure to investigate the complaints, the Special Investigation Unit announced that a report documenting injuries had been discovered.  

The report stated that Moosa's injuries "raised suspicions of assault and ill-treatment in conjunction with his arrest, detention and interrogation."  It also concluded that they suspected a crime of torture against Ramadan and Musa "to force them to confess to the crime they were accused of."

Therefore, the court obviously violates the basic rules of the Criminal Law as it contradicts the international treaties and agreements that Bahrain has ratified in this regard.

Commenting on the verdict, Yahya Al-Hadid, Chairman of the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, said: "This verdict is irrefutable evidence of how the Bahraini authorities insistingltly manipulates the judiciary as a sword over its opponents' necks in a bid to suppress any voice that dares to criticise its policies". 

AlHadid went into saying, "The verdict shows that the authorities inplementation of the non custodial punishments is solely an attempt to circumvent the international public opinion and to dilute the violations that are taking place inside Bahrain, especially against the prisoners of conscience".

GIDHR's chairman concluded, "We condemn the verdict issued by Bahrain's Court of Cassation today to uphold the death sentence against Mohamed Ramadan and Hussein Moosa. We call for a swift and urgent international action in order to pressure the Bahraini authorities to abolish the death sentences. We also call on Bahrain to allow International experts to independently investigate Moosa and Ramadan's claims of torture, and reprosecute them throughout a judicial process that meets the standards of a fair trial."