Amnesty International Wednesday condemned a Bahrain court’s decision to uphold death sentences against two men convicted of murdering a police officer, saying their trial relied on confessions extracted by torture.
The London-based group said the appeal was rejected despite evidence that supported the defendants’ reports of torture, and that those responsible for the mistreatment should be held accountable.
“Mohamed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa should never have been convicted on the basis of a fabricated so-called confession extracted through torture” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty’s Middle East research director, said in a statement.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, advocacy director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) in London, also criticised the decision and said the pair were convicted without physical evidence.
“Today’s ruling is nothing short of a political assassination and a total mockery of justice,” he said in a statement.
The two accused, who are members of Bahrain’s Shiite community, were sentenced in late 2014 after a trial that Alwadaei said was tainted by irregularities.
Amnesty said the police officer died in a bomb explosion in February of that year.
Authorities in the tiny kingdom have cracked down hard on dissent since mass street protests in 2011 demanded an elected prime minister and a constitutional monarchy in Sunni-ruled Bahrain.
Bahrain claimed Iran trained and backed the demonstrators in order to topple the Manama government — an accusation Tehran denies.
The kingdom rejects allegations of human rights violations and denies imposing discriminatory measures against its Shiite citizens.