On Thursday 9th July the Government was asked an Urgent Question about the cases of two prisoners sentenced to death in Bahrain.
On 8th January 2020 the two men were convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to death at the court of appeal in Bahrain. There are concerns that the convictions are based on evidence secured through torture. The cases are due to be considered a final time by the court of cessation on Monday 13 July.
Responding to the Urgent Question, the Minister for the Middle East said the UK Government had raised the cases with the Bahraini Government. He added that the Government had publicly stated its concern about the death sentences and that it will continue to monitor the cases.
I would like to see a decisive statement on this matter from the Government. Not least because the two Bahraini security bodies that are alleged to have enabled torture – the Special Investigations Unit and the ombudsman for the Ministry of Interior – have received funding from the UK. Since 2012, the Government has provided over £5 million of technical assistance to Bahrain, yet the number of executions and human rights abuses have increased.
It is one thing for the Government to speak of acting against those complicit in torture and the death penalty, but it is another for the Government to walk the walk. Time is clearly of the essence in this case. I hope the Government will speak out at the highest levels and do what it can to get these death sentences commuted.