Julie Gromellon – Head of international relations - BHCR
BCHR IS very concerned by the fact that the Bahraini authorities are using the counter-terrorism law to try ordinary civilians before Military courts and is using it as tool to suppress the political opposition. It is important to note that Bahrain is not a country facing pressing security issues or massive terrorist attacks that could justify this amendment of the law.
Without posing any security threat, 7 Bahraini citizens are facing a military court this month and at least 2 of them under this new amendment may be sentenced to death penalty. According to BCHR findings most of these citizens were subjected to enforced disappearances, brutally tortured and denied their right to meet with their lawyers and families during the interrogation period.
Their trials violated the basic principles of fair trials, and the recent amendment on military Court might be used to condemn them to very harsh sentences, including death penalty, as already said.
It’s also important to note that three of the accused were detained as children.
For us it is clear that Civilians, and children in particular, should not be tried before military courts under any circumstances.
We therefore call on the government of Bahrain should urgently transfer civilian cases to the regular courts and to place a moratorium on all death sentences; and ban all use of the death penalty;
We also call on the EU to Publicly support measures to end the trial of civilians before military courts.
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