UN Strongly Condemns Execution of Ali Al-Arab and Ahmad Al-Malali, Calls on Bahrain to Abolish Death Penalty
2019-07-31 - 5:10 p
Bahrain Mirror: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly condemned the execution of two Bahraini citizens, Ali Mohamed Hakeem Al-Arab, 25, and Ahmed Isa Al-Malali, 24, and called on the authorities in Manama to abolish the death penalty.
This came in a press conference held by the commissioner spokesperson Rupert Colville on Tuesday (July 30, 2019) in Geneva, during which he said "we strongly condemn the execution on 26 July in Manama".
He explained that the executions went ahead on Friday night, despite concerns expressed by the High Commissioner, following two earlier public statements by UN human rights experts, about allegations that the men's "confessions" were obtained through torture, and about lack of due process and fair trial guarantees. A third man, a migrant worker, was also executed after being convicted of murder.
Colville said that Al-Arab and Al-Malali were arrested separately in February 2017. They were both tried in a mass hearing with 58 other defendants, and convicted in January 2018 on charges of terrorism. They were sentenced to death. In May 2019, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence, despite the fact that both clearly indicated that they were tortured to confess to crimes they had not committed.
The spokesperson expressed the "commissioner's grave concern" about the future of other detainees who remain on death row in Bahrain and said that they are at risk of imminent execution.
The commissioner called on the Bahraini Government to halt all pending executions, and ensure a re-trial of these and other defendants whose rights may have been violated.
"We fully support the call by the UN experts for the Bahraini authorities to establish an official moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty," it said.