Amnesty International confirms torture of two Bahraini death row inmates, demands re-trial
Amnesty International has confirmed that two Bahraini political dissidents have been subjected to various forms of torture in jail as the kingdom’s ruling Al Khalifah dynasty presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on pro-democracy campaigners in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
The Britain-based human rights advocacy organization announced that Ali Hakim al-Arab and Ahmad al-Mullali have suffered a great deal of abuses.
Arab was transferred to the notorious Jaw prison following his conviction earlier this year, and placed under solitary confinement for a week. He was tortured between midnight and dawn until mid-February.
Amnesty International is now demanding an “independent and impartial investigation” into the allegations of torture, and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
It is also calling on the Manama regime to “quash” the death sentences handed down to the two Bahraini activists, and their full retrial.
“The proceedings must comply with international standards for a fair trial, and no evidence obtained under torture must be used. The death penalty must not be resorted to as well,” Amnesty International pointed out.
Arab and Mullali were sentenced to death by a Manama court in January on terrorism charges. They were convicted during a mass trial along with 58 other defendants.
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.
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 last year.