Bahrain Opens Door for New Round of Elections by Executing Dissidents
2018-12-01 - 4:00 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The ruling family in Bahrain has decided, mid-way into the election process, to remind Bahrainis of its intensified harsh campaign launched against human rights, telling them that there is no place for these rights, the doors to national reconciliation won't be opened, and that death sentences will be the fate of everyone who speaks up demanding real reform.
Bahrain has opened the door for a new round of voting in the legislative elections by issuing death sentences against dissidents, after accusing them of targeting police, which are the kind of charges usually brought against protestors.
Waiting for this round scheduled on Saturday (December 1, 2018), a Bahraini court issued on Thursday death sentences against Zuhair Ibrahim and Mohammad Mahdi, confirming that holding an election doesn't necessarily mean that Bahrain is moving on a political track.
Legal advisor Ibrahim Sarhan commented on the verdict saying that "The Bahraini judiciary is thirsty for blood and continues to issue death sentences against political dissidents. Two death sentences were handed down today to Zuhair Ibrahim and Mohammad Mahdi after they were subjected to enforced disappearance, torture and a trial that lacked the simplest standards of justice."
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) published a report, before the verdict was issued, including the shameful details about the torture and harassment practiced against one of the convicts and his wife. The center said that Zuhair may face the death penalty as a result of the confessions he made under torture.
Zuhair told his family that he was severely tortured by the detectives who interrogated him. He was stripped of his clothes, hanged by his hands and feet, electrocuted in sensitive areas of the body, sexually harassed, punched, slapped in the face and kicked. The interrogators also threatened to kill his family if he did not confess to the charges raised against him.
Hanan Ali (35 years old), Zuhair's wife, said that she was beaten by the masked civilian forces who broke into her house after her husband was arrested. They punched and slapped her with force and pulled her by her neck, causing her neck pain, as well as threatening her with rape and pointing a gun to her head during interrogation in an isolated room in the house, so that she would give them information about her husband Zuhair. This took place before Zuhair's family was summoned to the criminal investigation building, where their fingerprints were taken.
The opposition decided to boycott the legislative elections in protest against the absence of what they called a political vision that would put an end to the state of division in the country. The opposition accuses the Bahraini regime of insisting on resorting to the option of force in settling the issues that the island kingdom encounters.
"The upcoming parliamentary elections in Bahrain are occurring in a repressive political environment that is not conducive to free elections," Human Rights Watch said. It stressed that the verdicts issued on Thursday in Bahrain prove that Bahrain is not proceeding in an inclusive political process and that elections are conducted under more repression.
Bahrain issued 19 death sentences in 2018 only. In the beginning of 2017, Bahraini authorities executed 3 dissidents whom they accused of killing an Emirati officer in a Shiite village west of the capital, Manama.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemned the two death sentences issued against Zuhair Ibrahim and Mohammad Mahdi, calling on the authorities to reverse and repeal the verdicts, and said that they were issued via unjust trials that do not conform to the standards of a fair trial.
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