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Amnesty Calls for Fair Retrial of 7 Bahrainis, after Execution of 3 Others in Same Case Last January

2017-03-24 - 11:06 p

Bahrain Mirror: Amnesty International updated an urgent action report stating that it will continue to monitor the situation of the seven Bahrainis, who continue to serve life sentences, in the same case in which three death penalties were upheld by a court and then executed by the Bahraini authorities earlier this year.

It listed the names of the seven other men who are as follows: Ahmad Jaafar Mhamad Ali, Ali Jamil Taher Mhamad al-Samea, Taher Youssif Ahmed Mhamad al-Samie, Hussein Ahmad Rashed Khalil, Redha Mirza Mshaima, Hussein Sabah Abdulhussein and Ahmad M'touq Ibrahim.

Amnesty's report comes after years-long campaign launched by the organization to urge the Bahraini authorities to reverse the death sentences issued against Ali Abdulshaheed al-Sankis, Sami Mirza Mshaima and Abbas Jamil Taher Mhammad al-Samea, who were executed by firing squad on 15 January, 2017.

The HR group noted that their death sentences had been upheld on 9 January by the Court of Cassation and were swiftly ratified by the King. The court also upheld the life sentences of seven other men and the revocation of the nationality of eight of the ten..

"All ten men were convicted in February 2015 following an unfair trial in relation to the March 2014 killing of three policemen," Amnesty added.

The human rights organization noted that according to the statements made by some of the men, during three weeks of interrogation at the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) following their arrest in March 2014, the men had no access to their families or lawyers, and were tortured. "Sami Mshaima and Abbas al-Samea later told their families that they were given electric shocks, beaten, burnt with cigarettes, deprived of sleep, sexually assaulted and forced to ‘confess'."

The HR group further stressed that both trials before the High Criminal Court and Appeal Court failed to meet international fair trial standards. "The men only had access to their lawyers for the first time during their first court hearing on 30 April 2014, despite numerous requests by the lawyers to have access to their clients ahead of the trial. The lawyers did not have access to all the evidence available against the defendants, which prevented them from adequately defending their clients. Nor were they allowed to cross-examine prosecution witnesses."

Amnesty also highlighted that the courts' rulings were also based on the coerced "confessions" of Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mshaima and several other defendants, which were admitted as evidence.

Concluding their report, Amnesty International called for a retrial that fully complies with international fair trial standards, including by declaring evidence obtained under torture as inadmissible.

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