Amnesty Calls for Urgent Action to Commute Death Sentence against Maher Khabbaz


Amnesty International said on Thursday (May 18, 2017) that on May 11, the Bahrain High Court of Appeal upheld the death sentence imposed against Maher Abbas Ahmed (also known as Maher Khabbaz). His case will now go before the Court of Cassation. Maher Abbas Ahmed will be at imminent risk of execution if the sentence is upheld again.


According to the international watchdog, Maher Abbas Ahmad told his lawyer that he had been tortured during the first few days he was detained, while he was being interrogated. This included being beaten and threatened. During one hearing, he told the judge that he had been tortured, but no investigation is known to have been launched into his torture’s allegations.


In a call for action, Amnesty International expressed grave concern that Maher Abbas Ahmad’s death sentence was upheld again. It urged the King of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa, to immediately commute the death sentence imposed on Maher Abbas Ahmad and establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.


The international watchdog called on the authorities to conduct an investigation into the allegations of torture made by Maher Abbas Ahmad and his co-defendants, and acknowledged the Bahraini government’s responsibility to protect the public and bring to justice those who commit crimes, but insisting that this should always be done in accordance with international law and Bahrain’s international human rights obligations.