Death Row Prisoner Mohammad Ramadan Pleads with Pope to Aid his Release
2022-11-04 - 6:27 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Death row inmate Mohammad Ramadan has urged Pope Francis to call for his release during the pontiff's visit to the Gulf state and to ask the king of Bahrain to release him and reunite him with him family and children, according to a letter shared exclusively with the Guardian through the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.
Pope Francis urged Bahrain to end the death penalty and promote basic human rights after arriving in the Gulf state on Thursday. The pontiff's remarks were made during an address to dignitaries in Manama, including his host, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Francis said it was essential that "fundamental human rights are not violated but promoted", adding: "I think in the first place of the right to life, of the need to guarantee that right always, including for those being punished, whose lives should not be taken."
"This is a historic moment." said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of advocacy at Bird. "We welcome Pope Francis using his visit to call on the regime to respect human rights and end the death penalty in front of the king of Bahrain.
"Since the ‘Arab Spring' protests in 2011 there has been a drastic escalation in the use of the death penalty against pro-democracy protesters who have dared to argue for basic and rights and freedoms in Bahrain, death sentences ratified personally by King Hamad which the United Nations has condemned as ‘arbitrary killings'.
"King Hamad must now release those who are wrongly imprisoned so the country can finally begin to heal after years of violence and oppression."
A report issued in 2021 said that in the last decade, death sentences in Bahrain have risen by over 600 percent after the 2011 Arab Spring.