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International pressure increases on Bahrain to release two activists sentenced to death

A United Nations human rights organization called on Bahrain to release and compensate two activists who face the death penalty, saying they are arbitrarily detained.

In July 2020, Bahrain’s highest court upheld two death sentences for Muhammad Ramadan and Hussain Musa for bombing a convoy and killing a police officer.

After their convictions in December 2014, human rights groups say they were based on confessions extracted under torture.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said in a report published Thursday and dated May 31.

“Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, in particular, the risk that Mr Ramadan and Mr Musa would suffer physical and psychological harm, the appropriate solution is to release the two men immediately and provide them with appropriate compensation by international law.”

The government of Bahrain had previously claimed that the two cases met the requirements of a fair trial and that the initial ruling was followed by a second trial that looked into the allegations of violations.

Security forces arrested Musa, a hotel employee, and Ramadan, a security guard at Bahrain International Airport, in early 2014 after killing a policeman in an explosion in the village of Al-Dair, northeast of Manama.

Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, a UK-based human rights organization, said, “The two men were tortured to extract false confessions, sexual assault, beatings, sleep deprivation and other abuses.”

The United Nations team of five experts said it considered Ramadan and Musa detained on discriminatory grounds because of their political views in pro-democracy protests.

He added that the case is one of several cases brought before him in recent years related to arbitrary deprivation of liberty in Bahrain.

Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and other international naval operations, witnessed a pro-democracy uprising during the “Arab Spring” of 2011, suppressed with Saudi and Emirati help.

The government used a range of powers to quell the unrest, but dissent persisted, albeit to a limited extent.

And this week, a Bahraini political activist said that the wives of political prisoners, Muhammad Ramadan and Hussain Musa, live in hell. They fear that the Bahraini authorities will execute their husbands.

Activist Saeed Al-Shihabi asked in a series of posts on Twitter, saying:

“Where are the human consciences that rise to defend the victims of the military coup in Egypt? Where are the protests and demonstrations against the killing of innocents?”

“The wives of the oppressed Bahrainis, Muhammad Ramadan and Hussein Musa, are living in hell, awaiting the execution of their husbands,” Al-Shihabi added.

“The criminal here is not the killer, but the victim. Shame on this world that allowed the putschists to kill these oppressed.”

“killing them would be outside the law with premeditation.”

Recently, more than 13,000 people signed a petition calling on British Middle East Minister James Cleverly to intervene to stop the executions in Bahrain urgently.

The signatories to the petition demanded that the British minister speak clearly about the case of Muhammad Ramadan and Hussain Musa. They are sentenced to death in Bahrain before it is too late.

The petition stressed that the death sentences handed down to them should be abolished.

The British human rights organization, Reprieve, launched the online petition calling for a moratorium on executions issued in Bahrain.

In a press release, the organization pointed to the escalation of executions in Bahrain.

She noted that since 2012, all death sentences were issued according to confessions extracted under torture and coercion, describing this as “injustice”.

“if the executioners who the Khalifah imposed on the people of Bahrain knew that the hand of international law would reach them and that their names would be circulated at the airports and would be subjected to strict international sanctions, they would have hesitated to implement the orders of the higher authorities.

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