Bahrainis in Greater Manchester Call for UK Government Intervention to Prevent Unlawful Executions

PRESS RELEASE Wednesday, May 4th 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT KATH GRANT 07812471047

BAHRAINIS IN GREATER MANCHESTER CALL FOR UK GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION TO PREVENT UNLAWFUL EXECUTIONS

A group of Bahrainis in Greater Manchester have called on the UK Government and the international community to make an immediate intervention following the death sentences passed on four civilians by a special military court after a trial held behind closed doors.

The campaign group, which also includes Bahrainis throughout Britain and Europe, is demanding a halt to the executions. It is also demanding that the government in Bahrain suspends the current State of National Safety, releases detainees and engages in dialogue with its people. Amnesty International has urged the Bahraini government to stop the executions.

On April 28th, a military court in Bahrain sentenced four young men, all aged 20 or under, to death.  Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis, Qassim Hassan Matar, Saeed Abduljalil Saeed and Abdulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain were tried before a special military court which barred access to the public – even though they are all civilians.

The trial was conducted behind closed doors and the sentenced men have no right of appeal except to another special military court. The entire process raises great concerns about basic justice.

The four young men were sentenced to death after being accused of the premeditated murder of two policemen. The military prosecution alleged that the accused ran over the policemen with a vehicle on March 16 2011. Three other young defendants were tried with them: Issa Abdullah Kadhim Ali, Sadeq Ali Mahdi and Hussein Jaafar Abdulkarim. All of them were sentenced to life imprisonment by the same court.

Death sentences can usually be appealed in Bahrain’s military court. However, if the appeal fails, the final verdict cannot then be appealed in Bahrain’s ordinary courts. The four men are therefore facing imminent execution. According to Amnesty International  http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/bahrain-urged-halt-execution-protesters-2011-04-28, the men completely denied the charges.

On 15th March 2011, the Bahrain King, Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa, declared a state of emergency which was described as the State of National Safety (SNS). It provided for the establishment of a special military court to try those accused of offences under emergency powers. This cut off the right to appeal the judgments.

Since the SNS was imposed, more than 500 people have been arrested and many of them have been detained and kept incommunicado and at undisclosed locations. At least four people have died in detention in suspicious circumstances since the end of March. http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/bahrain-urged-stop-targeting-protesters-two-die-custody-2011-04-11; http://wireupdate.com/wires/16547/two-bahraini-protesters-die-in-police-custody/.

Many of the detainees were taken from their homes, often at night, by groups of police and security forces who wore masks, failed to produce arrest warrants and sometimes assaulted the detainees and members of their families.

Bahrain is in the grip of a deepening human rights crisis and the severity of the sentences imposed so far threatens the potential for future reconciliation and dialogue between the government and opposition in Bahrain.

The campaign group in Greater Manchester is demanding that the international community and UK government intervene immediately to prevent these unlawful and unjust executions. The government of Bahrain must suspend the State of National Safety (SNS), release all prisoners and detainees and engage in meaningful and peaceful dialogue with its people.

Please write to the UK Government immediately to urge them to intervene to prevent these unlawful and unjust executions.

Contact details for Foreign Secretary William Hague:

Westminster
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4611
haguew@parliament.uk

Constituency
Unit 1, Omega Business Village, Thurston Road, Northallerton, DL6 2NJ
Tel: 01609 779093
Fax: 01609 778172
plattj@parliament.uk

Contact details for all other MPs at http://www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp/

Please also write to the Bahraini authorities to urge them to:

·         halt these unlawful and unjust executions of four young men

·         suspend the ‘State of National Safety’

·         release all prisoners and detainees

·         engage in meaningful and peaceful dialogue with the Bahraini people

PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO:  (Time difference = GMT + 3 hrs / BST + 2 hrs)

King
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax:                     +973 17664587
Salutation:          Your Majesty

Prime Minister
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 1000, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax:                     +973 17533033
Salutation:          Your Highness

Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khlaifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs,
Fax:                     +973 175 31 284
Salutation:          Your Excellency

PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEAL TO:
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali Al-Khalifa,
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain,
30 Belgrave Square,
London SW1X 8QB.
Fax:                     020 7201 9183.
E-mail:                information@bahrainembassy.co.uk

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About dominickavakeb
Dominic Kavakeb is a recent Masters graduate in International Journalism from City University, London. He lives in London and is of British/ Middle Eastern origin.

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