News story

UK concern over death sentence for Bahrain protestors

Four Bahrainis protestors sentenced to death for killing of two policemen.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Commenting on the death sentence given to four Bahrainis for the killing of two policemen during the recent protests in Bahrain, a Foreign Office spokesperson said:

“The UK is concerned by the death sentences given to four Bahrainis. We support Bahrain’s right to bring to justice those responsible for the death of two policemen. But it is our longstanding policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. It undermines human dignity, there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value, and any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition is irreversible and irreparable.

We are concerned that emergency laws allow civilians to be tried before military tribunals. We urge the Bahraini authorities to ensure that due process is carefully and transparently followed in all cases and that civil liberties are protected, particularly where severe penalties are proposed. It is essential that the accused have adequate time to prepare a defence, access to legal counsel and are tried before independent impartial tribunals.

All deaths in recent months, including those of protestors, should be fully investigated and the rule of law upheld. We call on the Government of Bahrain to guarantee its citizens universal human rights and freedoms to which they are entitled, and that it has committed to.”

Published 30 April 2011