EU Parliament calls for Bahrain to halt prisoner executions
The European Union Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority on Thursday to adopt a draft resolution condemning human rights violations in Bahrain, where the death penalty is retained for a wide range of offences.
The Parliament called on Bahrain to quickly halt the imminent execution of 26 death row prisoners and condemned the ongoing use of torture against detainees and the persecution of human rights defenders
“[Members of the European Parliament] are deeply concerned that ten years after the Bahraini ‘Arab Spring’ uprising, in 2011, the human rights situation in the country continues to worsen,” it said in a statement.
The draft resolution, which comes after a spike in the use of capital punishment, was supported by 633 European deputies out of 689.
It calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience, including the Danish citizen Abdul Hadi Al-Khawaja, as well as Naji Fateel, Abdul-Wahhab Hussein, Ali Haji, Sheikh Ali Salman and Hassan Mushaima, who were detained and sentenced for exercising their right to freedom of expression, according to the resolution.
In particular, the European Parliament condemned the death sentences given to Muhammad Ramadan and Hussein Ali Musa, who were sentenced to death in 2014 for the murder of a policeman.
Human Rights Watch has said that there was "compelling evidence" that the two men's convictions "were based on confessions obtained under torture."
The Bahraini High Criminal Court of Appeal reinstated Ramadan's and Musa's convictions and death sentences in January 2020, despite the appearance of a medical report in 2018 which appeared to corroborate that Musa was torture.
The European Parliament said that Bahraini authorities used arbitrary harassment, imprisonment, and torture and punished individuals simply for exercising their civil and political rights including the rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression.
The draft resolution, which was adopted in parallel with two separate resolutions taking stock of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cambodia, called on Bahrain’s new Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, to use his authority to push the country towards political reform and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.