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NGOs: Bahrain must halt execution of men sentenced after forced confessions

bahrain-flag [file photo]
Bahraini flag [File photo]

Bahrain must halt the imminent execution of two men who were sentenced to death based on confessions obtained through torture, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported rights groups saying yesterday.

In a joint statement, Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT-France) and Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) launched an urgent call to halt the execution of Zuhair Ibrahim Abdullah and Hassan Abdullah Rashid.

ACAT and ADHRB revealed that both men were tortured and forced to confess carrying out terror acts.

Last week, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation, the country’s highest appeals court, upheld the death sentence against them.

Zuhair Abdullah is a 40-year old former restaurateur arrested in November 2017 on suspicion of carrying out a terror attack that killed a police officer.

READ: Bahrain’s female prisoners speak out over inhumane treatment funded by UK taxpayers

He is a father of five children and was held incommunicado for 55 days after his arrest, during which time he was interrogated without the presence of a lawyer at Bahrain’s Criminal Investigations Directorate and Royal Academy of Policing.

In a telephone in October last year, Zuhair told a British rights group that during this time he was subjected to a range of abuses including beatings, electric shocks, sexual assault, and attempted rape.

The investigators threatened to murder his children and rape his wife, who was beaten and threatened at gunpoint by security officers at their home.

After 13 days of continuous torture, Zuhair was coerced into issuing a false confession

Zuhair was sentenced to death and stripped of his citizenship on 29 November 2018 in an unfair trial marred by violations of due process.

His lawyer said that no physical evidence was presented linking him to the alleged crimes, while the presiding judge refused to disclose the findings of the investigations into Zuhair’s torture allegations.

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