Boris Johnson must act to halt executions in Bahrain

In January 2017, Bahrain executed three men who were arrested in the wake of protests and tortured into ‘confessions.’ Their names were Ali Al-Singrace, Abbas Al-Samea, and Sami Mushaima.

Now we are calling on Boris Johnson to intervene to halt repression in Bahrain, including the planned execution of political protesters.

Ali, Abbas, and Sami were the first prisoners to be put to death by the Bahraini authorities since 2010. Since their executions, the size of Bahrain’s death row has doubled, and at least two men face imminent execution on charges related to their attendance at political protests.

The Bahraini authorities have also engaged in reprisals against rights activists and their families. The authorities recently imprisoned the relatives of a UK-based campaigner, Sayed al Wadaei, who has spoken out about the death penalty and other abuses in Bahrain.

Among those potentially facing execution are Mohammed Ramadan, a police officer and father of three, was tortured and sentenced to death for attending a pro-democracy protest.

Bahrain is a close UK ally, and our research has found that the British government has given substantial support to Bahrain’s prison system, as part of a recent package of ‘reform’ support. The package has included the training by Britain of hundreds of guards on Bahrain’s death row, where torture is rife.

Commenting, Harriet McCulloch, a deputy director at Reprieve, said:

“Bahrain’s resumption of executions is a tragic reminder that the human rights situation in the Kingdom is deteriorating, despite the millions the UK Foreign Office has spent trying to reform the country’s police and prisons. Since last year’s execution of three protesters who were tortured into ‘confessing’, Bahrain has sentenced more protesters to death after unfair trials, while campaigners have been targeted for daring to speak out. Boris Johnson must make British security assistance to Bahrain strictly conditional on real reform. That includes an urgent end to the death penalty for protesters, and a halt to political reprisals.”