Urgent Interventions

OMCT joins call to commute the death sentences of Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali

Shaikh Hamadbin Isa Al Khalifa Office of His Majesty the King

P.O. Box 555

Rifa’a Palace


30 May 2019

Your Majesty,

We, theundersigned organizations, urge you to commute the death sentences of AliAl-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali, who haveexhausted all legal remedies available to them after the Court of Cassationrejected their appeal on 6 May 2019. Our organizations oppose the death penaltyin all cases, regardless of who is accused, the crime, their guilt or innocence,or the method of execution. The cases of Mr. Ali Al-Arab and Mr. Ahmed Al-Malali raiseadditional concerns, however, given the allegations that their confessions wereobtained under torture and their right to a fair trial was violated.

According tothe information available to our organizations, security forces arrestedAl-Arab, 25, and Al-Malali, 24, separately, without a warrant, on 9 February2017. Al-Arab’s family told Human Rights Watch and the BahrainInstitute for Rights and Democracy that during his interrogation, members ofthe Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) beat him, used electric shocks onhim, and pulled out his toenails, after which they forced him to sign a “confession” while blindfolded.

DuringAl-Malali’s arrest, he was struck by at least two bullets, butUN human rights experts noted that the bullets were not removed until 23 dayslater. Al-Malali was held incommunicado for around two months at the CID and,according to the experts, was allegedly tortured into signing a “confession” without reading it beforehand.

Despiteallegations that Al-Arab and Al-Malali were coerced into confessing, the courtrelied on these confessions to convict them. On 31 January 2018, both men weresentenced to death in a mass trial with 58 other defendants. To convict them,the court relied on the men’s “confessions,” which as noted above were obtained under torture,according to credible sources.

In a letter on21 May 2019, five UN human rights experts appealed to the Government of Bahrainto “halt the imminent executions” of Mr. Al-Arab and Mr. Al-Malali, raising “serious concerns that they were coerced into makingconfessions through torture and did not receive a fair trial.”

The lives ofthese two young men are in your hands. We call on Your Majesty not to ratifythe death sentences imposed on the two men and to ensure they are not executed.We urge you to order a retrial that fully complies with international fairtrial standards and excludes evidence obtained under torture, and to carry outan independent and impartial investigation into the men’s claims of torture. We acknowledge the authorities’ duty to prevent crime and bring those responsible tojustice, but emphasize that this should always be done in accordance withBahrain’s national and international human rights obligations.

Bahrain shouldjoin the many countries already committed to the UN General Assembly’s 18 December 2007 resolution calling for a moratoriumon executions, with the aim of abolishing the death penalty. Therefore, wefurther urge you to: immediately establish an official moratorium on executionswith a view to abolishing capital punishment in Bahrain; commute alloutstanding death sentences to terms of imprisonment, and conduct acomprehensive review of Bahrain’s death row, with a view to ensuring that victims of human rights abusesunlawfully sentenced to death receive redress.


1. Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture(ACAT) –France

2. Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture(ACAT) –Germany

3. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain(ADHRB)

4. Amnesty International

5. Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)

6. European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR)

7. Fair Trials

8. Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)

9. Human Rights Watch

10. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

11. Redress

12. Reprieve

13. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

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