Great News! Bahrainis’ Death Sentences Quashed

Two Bahraini men's death sentences imposed by a military court were quashed on 9 January. The cases have been sent to a civilian court of appeal.

‘Ali ‘Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis and ‘Abdulaziz ‘Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain’s death sentences were quashed by the Court of Cassation in Bahrain on 9 January. They were sentenced to death on 28 April 2011 by a military court, the National Safety Court of First Instance, though they are civilians, after having been found guilty of killing two policemen during the March 2011 anti-government protests. They appealed, and the military National Safety Court of Appeal upheld their sentences on 22 May. The Court of Cassation has referred the case to the High Criminal Court of Appeal for an appeal. The date of the appeal has not yet been fixed.

The two defendants alleged they were tortured in detention and their “confessions” were used against them in court. Confessions obtained under torture should not be used as evidence in legal proceedings in line with Bahrain’s obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, and considers civilians should not be tried before military courts.