Press Shia Agency – Bahrain’s al-Wefaq National Islamic Society reacted to the ongoing trial of civilians in military courts in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
Press Shia Agency – In a statement, Bahrain’s al-Wefaq National Islamic Society strongly criticized the continued trial of civilians in the country’s military tribunal and added, “All the introductions, procedures and actions of the military tribunal where civilians are tried reflect the invalidity of this tribunal and the absence of any level of justice or ethical, human and legal responsibility towards those sentenced.”
The statement adds: “Why were death sentences issued against six citizens without providing the minimum level of their human rights to obtain a fair trial? Given the rejection of the accusations of execution by the detainees, as well as kidnapping and torture, how can these allegations and sentences be accepted?”
Pointing out that the alleged allegations are totally vague and unclear, al-Wefaq stated that the inconsistency of the information in this case has caused the full questioning and mistrust of the circumstances, procedures and results of this trial. These issues increased the suspicion and distrust of these tribunals and the intention to hold them.
The Shi’ah opposition group expressed concern about the kidnapping and disappearance of the accused since their arrest 15 months ago and their continued disappearance and solitary confinement after the verdict, saying, “What is the purpose of hiding them in secret prisons and not allowing them to visit their families or acknowledging their location? Why is not the file of the trial available to lawyers? Why does the judge disregard the complaints of torture through electric shock?”
al-Wefaq continued to raise questions about the ruling: “Why are some of families and lawyers of the detainees threatened with the same fate as the detainees? Why has Bahrain’s National Human Rights Organization closed its eyes to this lawlessness? Why was the trial held secretly? Why did state media attack the accused?”
They criticized the prohibition of Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, from travelling to Bahrain and said, “The Bahraini government did not only deny the UN Special Rapporteur from travelling to the country but the government also warned and threatened defense lawyers about the release of any information about the tribunal and threats.”
al-Wefaq emphasized the urgent need to put an end to the trials and the abolition of the death sentences and continuation of the situation as very dangerous and described it as “playing with the lives and blood of the people.”
Amnesty International has called upon Bahraini officials to overturn recent death sentences passed on six civilians over terror-related charges, and to put an immediate end to the violent crackdown on political dissidents and anti-regime protesters in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.
It also urged Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah regime to disclose the whereabouts of the defendants held incommunicado, grant them access to lawyers and medical treatment and allow them to meet their families.
The six were among a group of 13 political dissidents who were sentenced to death by a court in Bahrain in December 2017 over terror-related charges.