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RIGHTS campaigners have called for the international community to intervene before it is too late after Bahrain handed death sentences to two men on the first day of Ramadan.
Monday’s court ruling upheld a decision to execute Ali al-Arab and Ahmed al-Malali on what their supporters maintain are trumped-up terrorism charges following confessions extracted through torture.
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain spokesman Husain Abdulla branded the rejection of the pair’s final appeal by Bahrain’s Court of Cassation “a travesty.”
In a joint statement with the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and the European Centre for Democracy & Human Rights, he called for “an immediate retrial under international standards and an investigation into allegations of torture.”
Mr Arab was arrested at his home in February 2018 without a warrant. He is reported to have been blindfolded and forced to sign a confession under duress. He was sentenced to death in a mass trial for alleged involvement in a prison break and for killing a security officer.
Mr Malali was arrested in the same month by the coastguard in a joint operation with Bahraini intelligence services. He was held in isolation for a month and reportedly subjected to torture, including electric shock and was charged with weapons offences and membership of a terrorist organisation.
Last month a Twitter account connected with Bahraini security forces tweeted that the court would uphold the death sentences and send them directly to the king for ratification.
BIRD spokesman Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said: “The apparently premeditated nature of the sentences demands this case be taken with the utmost seriousness, particularly given the appalling torture these men were subjected to by security forces before their conviction in unfair trials.
“Now that the executions are imminent, it is critical that the international community step up and take action before it’s too late.”
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