With the harsh and horrible sentences issued by Bahraini courts against activists and politicians SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights calls on Bahraini authorities to stop using the Judiciary to punish the opposition.
SALAM DHR condemns the death sentences as well as the nationality revoking and the forced deportation from the country sentences and expresses its concern over the sentences issued on Tuesday May 15, 2018, where the Bahraini court has revoked the Bahraini Nationality from the largest number of citizen at once which is 115, therefore the total number of revoked nationality citizens reached to date 720 citizen.
Sentences of life time imprisonment were issued against 53 people, 25 years against 3 people, 10 years against 1 person, 7 years against 25 people, 5 years against 37 people and 3 years against 6 people and 23 people were acquitted by the court of malicious charges, where the proofs are confessions extracted under torture and enforced disappearance.
The case is linked to the authorities’ announcement in 2015 of the establishment of an armed group called “Kata’eb Thu Alfiqar” with the purpose of disturbing the peace in Bahrain.
Amnesty International said on its Twitter account that Bahrain’s mass trial yesterday was unfair “This is one of the most severe rulings yet, and is further proof that the Bahrain authorities have no regard whatsoever for international fair trial standards.”
And said in another Tweet “Bahrain today revoked the citizenship of 115 people on terrorism-related charges after a mass unfair trail where the court relied on ‘confessions’ extracted under torture”.
The Bahrain Judiciaryboth the public prosecution and the courts arefeatured with discourtesy and both are involved in collusion side by side with the authority and partners in the crime of serious Human rights violations in Bahrain.
Each member of the public prosecution, the public prosecutor, the judges as well as the President of the Court of Cassation are appointed and dismissed from office or promoted by the king of Bahrain. Also the minister of Justice Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa is appointed by the king who is a member of the ruling family. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is himself the head of supreme judicial council, who is responsible of supervising the work process in the courts, Human & Financial Resources Directoratefollows civil service regulations issued by the Civil Service Bureauand the unified financial policies of the State issued by the Ministry of Finance and its minister who is as well a member of the ruling family Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. This is contrary to principle of the separation of Powers and the independence of the judiciary and must be neutral and not subject to the influence of other branches of the executive and legislative authorities or the influence of private or political interests.
Bahraini authorities do not use only the judiciary for violation of human rights, but use the legislative authority which is free of opposition to pass penal laws which violate the international law and violate the international conventions ratified by Bahrain such as the law “Protecting society from terrorist acts” which is used by the authority as a cover to practice terrorism against citizens and restrict their freedoms. Bahraini authorities passed in the past 4 years anumber of strict laws that legitimize for the judge and public prosecutor to issue sentences against those who demand their rights or the politicians who oppose the regime by issuing severe sentences against them such as death sentences, the revocation of nationality and forced deportation from the country for malicious charges with no proofs but confessions extracted under torture during an enforced disappearance period.
Bahraini courts ignored the testimonies of defendants who have been charged for political backgrounds or expressing their opinions regarding the torture and enforced disappearances by officers and members of the police or national security or criminal investigations and did not open an investigation against them. The Public Prosecution did not file criminal proceedings against them, for instance the president of Bahrain center for human rights wrote his testimony on Twitter about what he saw from the beating of prisoners in Jaw central prison during his detention in March 2015 by police officers in prison.
Instead of opening an investigation into the incident by the public prosecutor and prosecuting the offenders, Nabeel Rajab was charged with insulting official bodies. Another example was human rights activist Ibtisam al-Sayegh, who was beaten all over her body for seven hours and sexually and verbally abused in the National Security building in Muharraq. The incident is now documented at the United Nations and international and local human rights organizations. In another example Younis Sultan, a brother of a human rights activist and ومسؤول أنشطة كسب التأييد والمناصرة in SALAM DHR Organization in November 2017, was beaten and sexually assaulted by Tahir al-‘Awali at Madinat Hamad police station roundabout 17 In retaliation for his brother. The case was registered at the UN, but the Bahraini judiciary did not open an investigation into the incident therefore the policy of impunity remains, and the Bahraini judiciary remains an accomplice and partner with the Authority in serious human rights violations.
The Bahraini authorities violated their international obligations and ratified international conventions such as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment , and violated The Universal Declaration of Human Rights violated Article 10, which states: “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him “. And violated The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights articles 9 and 14.
SALAM for Democracy and Human Rightsdemands:
- We call on the Bahraini authorities to amend the articles of the Criminal Code in violation of international laws and treaties.
- Stop using the revocation of nationality and forced deportation from the country as a punishment.
- To start immediately to reform the judiciary and make it independent and impartial.
- Stop the policy of impunity and hold those responsible for human rights violations accountable.
- Immediately release of all prisoners of conscience and demand political reform.