The Global Rights Watch (GRW) strongly condemned the death sentences against Bahraini defendants following manifestly unfair trials.
In a joint statement undersigned by a number of human rights organisations, the GRW affirmed that the death sentences were based solely or primarily on confessions allegedly coerced through torture and ill-treatment.
GRW found serious and persistent human rights violations underlying the convictions and death sentences of cases of eight men examined for the report.
The men are among 26 who are currently on death row, their appeals exhausted.
Trial and appeal courts cavalierly dismissed credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation instead of investigating them, as required by international and Bahraini law.
The courts routinely violated defendants’ rights to fair trials, including the right to legal counsel during interrogation, the right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and through reliance on secretly sourced reports.
Bahraini officials routinely proclaim that the government respects fundamental human rights, but in case after case, courts relied on coerced confessions despite defendants’ credible claims of torture and ill-treatment.
Bahrain has executed six people since 2017, when the country ended a de facto seven-year moratorium on the death penalty. The 26 men now on death row can be executed once King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ratifies their sentences.
In this regard, we affirm that the Bahraini courts consistently violate fundamental due process and fair trial rights during the prosecutions.
We e further stress that it is particularly appalling to sentence people to death amid torture allegations and after manifestly unfair trials.