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Reprieve Publishes Details of British Aid to Bahrain: It Involved in Allowing Executions

2017-05-18 - 10:51 p

Bahrain Mirror- Exclusive: The British Reprieve organization said that "there are worrying signs that Britain is helping to prop up Bahrain's death penalty system," amid the abuses taking place in Bahrain and after Bahrain carried out the politically-motivated executions of three men - Abbas Al-Samea, Sami Mushaima and Ali Al-Singace in January 2017, while two more prisoners - Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Mousa - face imminent execution.

The organization indicated that "the British government cannot be allowed to use taxpayer pounds to help Bahrain whitewash its torture record, while the Gulf Kingdom goes ahead with death sentences and executions."

Reprieve said that there are five things we know until now, one of them is that "Britain has spent £5 million assisting the system that made these executions possible." This included training police officers, prosecutors, torture investigators - even guards on the death row where Abbas Al-Samea, Sami Mushaima and Ali Al-Singace were held before being executed.

"Abbas and Sami were tortured into providing false confessions in Bahrain's Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) building just months before Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons assisted an inspection of that very police station," the organization went on to say, however, "the report that emerged after the inspection made no mention of their torture allegations."

It noted that "Later, Bahrain's Special Investigation Unit (SIU), a UK-trained body which is supposed to investigate torture complaints, ignored Sami's complaints entirely and conducted a sham investigation into Abbas' allegations. At the same time, the Bahraini Ombudsman for the Ministry of Interior, a third UK-trained body, ignored Mohamed's torture complaints and refused to investigate them for more than two years, during which time Mohamed and Husain were sentenced to death."

Reprieve added that "Britain can no longer claim to be promoting human rights in Bahrain," highlighting that "the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) claims that the goal of its assistance program is to engender human rights reform in Bahrain, and ministers have characterized UK projects in Bahrain as successful. A deteriorating human rights record and a return to executions after six years cast serious doubts over these claims."

"The performance of the institutions receiving UK training should be the benchmark for measuring the success of UK assistance in Bahrain. By that metric, Britain's deep entanglement with the Bahraini criminal justice system should be considered an abject failure," the organization explained. However, the actions of UK-trained institutions have allowed the death sentences Abbas, Sami and Ali to go forward, as well as Mohamed and Husain.

It further stated that "the British government has repeatedly glossed over evidence of human rights abuses linked to the bodies it is training," although "there is clear evidence of Bahrain's appalling human rights record."

Reprieve confirmed that "More executions are imminent and the British government is yet to act," stressing that "Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has refused to confirm whether any steps were taken to prevent Bahrain's recent executions- or whether any action will be taken to stop the upcoming executions of Mohammed Ramadan and Husain Mousa."

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