UN calls on Bahrain to release two dissidents on death row

June 21, 2021 - 11:47

A United Nations human rights watchdog has called on the Kingdom of Bahrain to release and also compensate two activists facing the death penalty. Bahraini Security Forces arrested Mohammed Ramadhan, a security guard at the Kingdom’s International airport, and Hussein Moosa, a hotel employee, in early 2014 for allegedly bombing a convoy and killing a police officer.

In a report, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said “Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, particularly the risk of harm to the physical and psychological well-being of Mr. Ramadhan and Mr. Moosa, the appropriate remedy would be to release both men immediately and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations”. Rights groups, including Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, say both men had been tortured to extract false confessions.

According to the rights groups, the torture included sexual assault, beatings, sleep deprivation, and other types of abuse. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is a panel of five experts.

It says Ramadhan and Moosa have been detained on discriminatory grounds for participating or leading pro-democracy protests. The Persian Gulf State has used an array of powers to crackdown on an uprising that began in 2011. This included bringing in troops from neighboring Saudi Arabia to help suppress the revolution. Many leading activists, political opponents, and clerics have been detained.

Nationalities of citizens have been revoked and the leading al-Wefaq opposition party was forced to dissolve. Out of all the countries that witnessed uprisings during the Islamic Awakening era also known as the Arab Spring, per capita Bahrain was the largest. Smaller scale protests continue today, but the Persian Gulf Island has evaded any sanctions by the West for its heavy-handed crackdown. Experts say this is down to its strategic location in West Asia, its close ties to the West in addition to the fact that it hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth fleet.  

Leave a Comment

3 + 15 =