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Bahrain upholds death sentences despite concerns over tortured confessions
Bahrain upholds death sentences despite concerns over tortured confessions

The highest court of Bahrain has reaffirmed a lower court decision to execute two protesters despite evidence that suggests that their confessions were unlawfully extracted.

Hussain Moosa and Mohammed Ramadan, members of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, were sentenced to death in 2014 for planting a bomb that killed one police officer and injured several others during the protests. After multiple appeals, the high court overturned the death sentences in 2018. The court accepted evidence of medical records showing injuries on Moosa, supporting witness statements that the two men were beaten and tortured into pleading guilty for crimes they did not commit.

However, in January a lower court successfully reinstated the death penalty, which the high court reaffirmed on Monday. The prosecution put forward evidence of text messages showing that the two protesters had been planning to commit the crimes and that there was no causation between the treatment causing the injuries to Moosa and any forced confession.

Concern has come from human rights groups and the UK, which has funded Bahrain’s security and justice system since 2012, stating that the executions of government critics could be imposing on human rights of protesters.