Sixteen members of the European Parliament expressed their grave concern at the continuing deterioration of human rights in Bahrain, and indicated that a number of activists are facing execution and others have been subjected to torture, ill-treatment and denial of medical care.
This came in an urgent message to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, prior to his meeting – on the 26th of this month – with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, in Brussels.
European parliamentarians called on the high European official to “seize this opportunity to hold your Bahraini counterparts accountable” by raising the issues of European Bahraini citizens with dual nationalities: Abdul Hadi Al-Khawaja (a Danish) and Sheikh Muhammad Habib Al-Miqdad (a Swedish).
According to the letter, these prisoners of conscience – also including Hassan Mushaima – were indicted for their roles in the 2011 pro-democracy protest movement.
The letter states that these “were all tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for their political and human rights activities”, and that they were all “subjected to torture, ill-treatment and systematic denial of medical care.”
The letter reminded the European official that Bahrain abandoned its de facto moratorium on the death penalty in 2017, and “since then has carried out 6 executions, of which 5 were considered arbitrary by the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard in 2017 and 2019, respectively.”
The letter indicates that 26 of those sentenced to death are currently facing imminent execution, about half of whom have been convicted on the basis of confessions allegedly obtained under torture in cases related to political unrest.
Based on these data, parliamentarians say that they are urging Borrell to: Ensure the immediate provision of appropriate medical care for imprisoned activists, and secure the immediate release of Hassan Mushaima, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Sheikh Muhammad Habib Al-Miqdad, as well as urging the Bahraini minister to suspend the death penalty in his country.