European Parliament Calls on Bahrain to Grant Mohammed Ramadan Royal Pardon or Commute his Sentence

2016-02-06 - 2:04 ص

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The European Parliament called on in a joint motion for a resolution issued on Thursday (February 4, 2016) "the Government of Bahrain, and in particular His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to grant Mohammed Ramadan a royal pardon or to commute his sentence," expressing its "concern and disappointment over Bahrain's return to the practice of capital punishment," and calling for "the reintroduction of the moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition."

The European Parliament condemned firmly "the continuing use of torture and other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment against prisoners by the security forces," stressing that it is extremely worried about the prisoners' physical and mental integrity.

The Parliament also expressed its concern about "the use of anti-terrorism laws in Bahrain to punish political beliefs and convictions and prevent citizens from pursuing political activities," stressing the obligation "to ensure that human rights defenders are protected and allowed to conduct their work without hindrance, intimidation or harassment."

It also noted "the Government of Bahrain's ongoing efforts to reform the country's penal code and legal procedures, and encourages the continuation of this process," urging "the Government of Bahrain to uphold international standards on the right to a fair trial and due process and to comply with international minimum standards as set out in Articles 9 and 14 of the ICCPR."

The European Parliament called on "the competent authorities to undertake a prompt and impartial investigation into all allegations of torture, to prosecute suspected perpetrators of torture and to dismiss all convictions made on the basis of confessions obtained under conditions of torture."

It also reminded the Bahraini authorities that "Article 15 of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment prohibits the use of any statement made as a result of torture as evidence in any proceedings," calling for" the immediate ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty."

The Parliament called on the Government of Bahrain "to issue an immediate and open invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture to conduct a country visit and to allow unfettered access to detainees and to all places of detention."

It went on to say that it is aware "of the recommendations made by the Ombudsman, the PDRC and the NIHR, in particular on the rights of detainees and their conditions in prisons, including in respect of alleged ill-treatment and torture," calling on the Government of Bahrain "to ensure the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman and of the PDRC, and to guarantee the independence of the Special Investigations Unit from the Office of the Public Prosecutor."

The European Parliament stressed "the importance of the support given to Bahrain, in particular as regards its judicial system, with a view to ensuring compliance with international human rights standards," and said it "strongly encourages the establishment of an EU-Bahrain human rights working group."

129 MEPs signed the resolution, namely Ann Gomez and Marietje Schaake.

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