EU on death sentences in Bahrain

State­ment by the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Cather­ine Ash­ton, on death sen­tences in Bahrain
Cather­ine Ash­ton, the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion, made today the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“I am deeply con­cerned about the immi­nent risk of exe­cu­tion of four Bahrai­ni nation­als sen­tenced to death by a mil­i­tary court on 28 April for the alleged mur­der of two police offi­cers dur­ing antigov­ern­ment protests in March. The charges are seri­ous, but the fact that civil­ians were tried before a mil­i­tary court behind closed doors, is a fur­ther cause for con­cern.

In accor­dance with inter­na­tion­al human rights con­ven­tions that Bahrain has signed up to, every per­son has the right to a fair tri­al includ­ing the right of effec­tive appeal. Any­one sen­tenced to death has the right to seek par­don or com­mu­ta­tion of the sen­tence, which may be grant­ed in all cas­es.

The EU is firm­ly opposed to the death penal­ty in all cir­cum­stances and calls on Bahrain to reestab­lish a mora­to­ri­um on the use of the death penal­ty.

I also call for the full inves­ti­ga­tion of all alleged human rights vio­la­tions com­mit­ted dur­ing the past months as well as the imme­di­ate release of all polit­i­cal pris­on­ers.

These death sen­tences risk fur­ther exac­er­bat­ing recent ten­sions in Bahrain and as such, present an obsta­cle to nation­al rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion requires dia­logue to be start­ed with­out delay and with­out pre­con­di­tions, enabling real reforms which are the only viable solu­tion to suc­cess­ful­ly address­ing the chal­lenges the coun­try is fac­ing.”

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

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