Bahrain: Reject confessions linked to torture
by: Human Rights Watch
published: 21 June 2012
Bahrain’s High Court of Appeal, which is reviewing the convictions of 21 political activists by a military court, should firmly reject any use of confessions possibly obtained by torture, Human Rights Watch said today. Bahrain’s public prosecutor insisted on June 19, 2012, that in what amounts to a retrial, he will again use confessions that an independent commission had suggested were obtained by torture.
Lawyers for the 21 opposition activists asked the court to set aside the confessions in a hearing on June 19.
The defendants had testified in earlier hearings that their confessions, which formed the basis for their earlier convictions, had been coerced by torture. The chief public prosecutor, Nayef Yusif, told the court the public prosecution office will include all evidence submitted to the court, including the confessions.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) confirmed that the defendants had been subjected to abuse for the purpose of securing the confessions.“After the consistent and credible allegations of torture and the many promises to punish torturers, it is astonishing that the prosecutors still intend to rely on this evidence to uphold the earlier unfair convictions,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
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