Death Penalty Database

Bahrain

Information current as of: January 23, 2011

General

Official Country Name

Kingdom of Bahrain (Bahrain). [1]

Geographical Region

Asia (Western Asia). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3]

Methods of Execution

Shooting.
Firing squad. [4]

Death by firing squad is stipulated by Bahrain’s Penal Code. [5] In June 2008, Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Mia was executed by shooting. [6]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Bahrain, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26414.htm, Jan. 29, 2010.
[2] U.N. World Macro Regions and Components, U.N. Doc. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29, 2000.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/abolitionist-and-retentionist-countries, last accessed Apr. 8, 2010.
[4] Nutzworld.com, Methods of Execution by Country, http://www.nutzworld.com/amerikaarticles/methods_of_execution_by_country.htm, last accessed Apr. 20, 2010. Hands off Cain, Bahrain, http://www.handsoffcain.info/bancadati/schedastato.php?idstato=10000332&idcontinente=23, last accessed Apr. 20, 2010.
[5] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 51, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[6] Capital Punishment UK, Executions in June 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/june08.html, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.

Country Details

Language(s)

Arabic. [1]

Population

1,046,814.   [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

We cannot offer an exact figure, but we know of at least 13 death-sentenced prisoners. [3]

Amnesty International reports that 12 people were sentenced to death between 2010 and 2014, [4] and at least 6 new death sentences have been reported so far in 2015, [5] but not all death sentences were confirmed on appeal. There have been no executions since one person was executed in 2010. [6]

(This question was last updated on July 31, 2015.)

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on October 18, 2017)

3. [7]

Executions in 2016

0. [8]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

1. [14]

Executions in 2009

0. [15]

Executions in 2008

1. [16]

Executions in 2007

0. [17]

Year of Last Known Execution

2017. [18]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Bahrain, People, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26414.htm, Jan. 29, 2010.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Bahrain, People, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26414.htm, Jan. 29, 2010.
[3] DPW Bahrain Doc. E-1, Email from Reprieve to DPW, Jul. 23, 2015.
[4] According to Amnesty, 1 person was sentenced to death in 2010, 5 people in 2011 (the first nationals to be sentenced to death in over a decade), 1 person in 2012 and at least 5 people in 2014. There were no new death sentences in 2013 for the first time in 4 years. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010 in 2010, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[5] Reuters, Bahrain sentences man to death for killing policeman: agency, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/29/us-bahrain-security-sentence-idUSKBN0NK1K020150429, Apr. 29, 2015. Amnesty Intl., Bahrain sentences two Bangladeshis to death, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1112932015ENGLISH.pdf, Mar. 24, 2015. Al Jazeera, Bahrain Shias sentenced to death over police killing, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/bahrain-shias-sentenced-death-police-killing-150226090725369.html, Feb. 26, 2015.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010 in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[7] BBC News, Bahrain executes three Shia men over 2014 police killing, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38627679, Jan. 15, 2017.
[8] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[9] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010 in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Further Information on Death Penalty/Fear of Imminent Execution: Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Mia, MDE 11/002/2008, May 9, 2008.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[19] BBC News, Bahrain executes three Shia men over 2014 police killing, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38627679, Jan. 15, 2017.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder of the perpetrator’s close relatives or of a public official, and murder using poisonous or explosive materials are all punishable by death. [1]

Murder.
Murder is punishable by death. [2]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Calumniation – or falsely reporting information to judicial officials – is punishable by death if it results in a death sentence that is carried out. [3]

The following crimes, when they result in death, are also death-eligible: kidnapping, especially under aggravating circumstances; [4] rape, sexual assault or statutory rape, especially under aggravating circumstances; [5] assault; [6] arson; [7] the use of force in theft; [8] drug trafficking; [9] deliberately obstructing funerals or memorial services; [10] and certain crimes against property, transportation or agriculture under aggravating circumstances. [11]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Deliberately causing damage to public buildings or property in order to cause panic or anarchy, or endangering or obstructing the operation of a vehicle; obstructing a telecommunications medium intended for public use, if it results in death, is punishable by death. [12]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Forming or leading an armed gang which uses force to occupy or destroy a public or Government building, [13] which has attacked the local population, which uses arms to resist public authority, [14] or which aims to expropriate property or land is punishable by death. [15] Also, the king signed into law the “Protecting Society from Terrorist Acts” bill in August 2006; Article 6 of the law prescribes the death penalty for acts that “disrupt the provisions of the Constitution or laws, or prevent state enterprises or public authorities from exercising their duties.” [16] According to this law, committing or planning terrorist acts is punishable by death. [17]

Rape of Child Not Resulting in Death.
Sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16, without consent, is punishable by death even when it does not result in death. [18] The non-consent of the victim (statutory rape) is presumed if she is less than 14 years of age. [19]

Arson Not Resulting in Death.
Arson of a public or Government building, even if it does not result in death, is punishable by death, but only if it is carried out against the state or civil servants. [20]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Drug trafficking not resulting in death, as provided by a law introduced in July 1984, is punishable by death. [21]

Treason.
Deliberately committing an act which affects the country’s independence, unity, or territorial integrity; [22] taking up arms against Bahrain; [23] assisting the enemy in weakening the Armed Forces; [24] inciting service in a hostile armed force; [25] facilitating enemy entry into Bahrain or surrendering State property intended for defense; [26] using explosives to overthrow the state; [27] making attempts on the life or freedom of the Amir or Crown Prince; [28] or cooperating with a foreign power or leading or forming an armed gang in an attempt to overthrow the Constitution, Amiri rule, system of government [29] is punishable by death. The death sentence may also be handed down for any felony committed in wartime with the intent of helping the enemy, if the felony contributes to realizing this purpose. [30] In addition, any felonies affecting external state security committed with the intention of assisting the enemy or adversely affecting the military operations of the armed forces are punishable by death, if such acts contribute to realizing this purpose. [31]

Espionage. [32]
Surrendering or destroying defense secrets or intending to do so; [33] or withholding, destroying, embezzling or falsifying documents related to national security in order to assist the enemy or adversely affect Bahrain’s armed forces, if the act contributes to realizing this purpose, [34] are all punishable by death

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Deliberately damaging weapons or other items used to defend the country during wartime is punishable by death. [35] If a person with authority to give orders to the armed forces or police personnel asks or instructs the latter to oppose government orders for an illegal purpose and is successful in doing so, the crime is punishable by death. [36]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. Bahrain’s Penal Code provides that a death sentence can be reduced to life or term imprisonment if the offense is committed under extenuating circumstances. [37] A review of news reports suggests that courts exercise independent discretion in this regard, although the payment of diya could additionally reduce a sentence, [38] although this does not affect whether the death penalty is considered mandatory. Hood & Hoyle report that the death penalty is mandatory for murder of a police officer, [39] but we did not find a law that states that Article 72 discretionary sentencing cannot apply for such a killing.

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

None. Bahrain’s Penal Code provides that a death sentence can be reduced to life or term imprisonment if the offense is committed under extenuating circumstances. [40] A review of news reports suggests that courts exercise independent discretion in this regard, although the payment of diya could additionally reduce a sentence. [41]

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Aggravated Murder. [42]
on June 4, 2008. [43]

Murder. [44]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
One extenuating justification that limits the application of the death penalty is the age of the accused. If the accused is a minor between the age of 15 and 18, [45] the death sentence must be reduced to a jail sentence or imprisonment for at least one year. [46]

Pregnant Women.
If a pregnant woman is sentenced to death, the execution will be suspended until three months after she delivers, according to Article 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code. [47]

Mentally Ill.
According to Bahrain’s Penal Code, individuals who are found to be mentally ill at the time of the offense, during the course of interrogation, or after sentencing are to be sent to a sanitarium. [48] However, the Penal Code does not specifically refer to the treatment of mentally ill accused individuals in relation to the death penalty

References

[1] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 333, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[2] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 333, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[3] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 234, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[4] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 357-359, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[5] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 148, 279, amended by Legislative Decree No. 9 of 1982 With Respect to Amendments to the Penal Code of 1976, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[6] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 344, 349, amended by Legislative Decree No. 1 of 1986 With Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[7] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 346, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[8] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 349, amended by Legislative Decree No. 1 of 1986 With Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[9] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 277, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[10] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 376, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[11] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 104, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[12] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 137, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[13] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 315, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[14] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 349, amended by Legislative Decree No. 1 of 1986 With Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[15] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 409, 414, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[16] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 410, 414, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[17] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 411, 414, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[18] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 413-414, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[19] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 155, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[20] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 284, 285, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[21] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 149, amended by Legislative Decree No. 9 of 1982 With Respect to Amendments to the Penal Code of 1976, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[22] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 279, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[23] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 152, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[24] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 153, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[25] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2009 – Bahrain, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49705fac85.html, Jan. 14, 2009.
[26] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, p. 1, MDE 11/001/2007, Nov. 27, 2007.
[27] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 344, amended by Legislative Decree No. 1 of 1986 With Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[28] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 344, amended by Legislative Decree No. 1 of 1986 With Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[29] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 279, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[30] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 104, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[31] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 137, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[32] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 112, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[33] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 113, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[34] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 114, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[35] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 115, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[36] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 116, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[37] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 279, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[38] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 147, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[39] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 148, amended by Legislative Decree No. 9 of 1982 With Respect to Amendments to the Penal Code of 1976, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[40] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 175, 148-174, amended by Legislative Decree No. 9 of 1982 With Respect to Amendments to the Penal Code of 1976, art. 1, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[41] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 117, 118, 120, 124, 125, 127-139, 141, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[42] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts.116, 121-122, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[43] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 126, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[44] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 123, punishment laid out in art. 142, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[45] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 129, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[46] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 151, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[47] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 72, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[48] See, for example, Mohammed Aslam, Blood Money May Help Free Jailed Killers, Gulf Daily News, http://gulfdailynewsonline.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=205635, Jan. 13, 2008; Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Murder Case Fuels Sectarian Tension in Bahrain, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/983, Jan. 25, 2007.
[49] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 280, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[50] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 72, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[51] See, for example, Mohammed Aslam, Blood Money May Help Free Jailed Killers, Gulf Daily News, http://gulfdailynewsonline.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=205635, Jan. 13, 2008; Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Murder Case Fuels Sectarian Tension in Bahrain, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/983, Jan. 25, 2007.
[52] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 75, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[53] Sara Sami, Woman’s Killer is Executed, Gulf Daily News, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=219375, Jun. 5, 2008.
[54] Capital Punishment U.K., Executions, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/world.html, last accessed Mar. 28, 2011 (the user must navigate to determine executions for each month).
[55] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 70, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[56] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 71, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[57] U.N. CEDAW, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, p. 105, U.N. Doc. CEDAW/C/BHR/2, Nov. 12, 2007.
[58] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 104, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[59] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, arts. 87-88, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Sep. 20, 2006. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

No. [4]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [5]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [6]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [7]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Yes. [8]

Date of Accession

June 18, 2006. [9]

Signed?

Yes. [10]

Date of Signature

July 5, 2005. [11]

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [12]

Vote

Abstained. [13]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [14]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [15]

Vote

Abstained. [16]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [17]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [18]

Vote

Against. [19]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [20]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [21]

Vote

Abstained. [22]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [23]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [24]

Vote

Abstained. [25]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [26]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [27]

Vote

Against. [28]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [29]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4?=en, last accessed Apr. 12, 2010.
[8] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[9] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[10] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[11] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[12] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[13] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[14] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[15] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[16] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[17] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[18] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[19] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[20] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[21] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, includng alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[22] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[23] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[24] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[25] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[26] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[27] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[28] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[29] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

No. [1]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Yes.
Article 121 (Former Treaties and Laws) a. provides, “The application of this Constitution does not breach the treaties and agreements which Bahrain has concluded with states and international organisations.” [2] The Constitution also makes reference to asylum, [3] and also states that “The King shall appoint and dismiss civil servants, military personnel, and political representatives in foreign States and with international organizations, within the bounds and on the conditions prescribed by law, and shall accredit the representatives of foreign States and organizations.” [4]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Bahrain executes rarely, and has frequently gone years without carrying out any executions at all. For instance, Bahrain maintained a de facto moratorium from 1977 to 1996, when Bahrain executed Issa Ahmad Qambar, a Bahraini national by firing squad. He had been found guilty of the premeditated murder of a police officer. [5] From 1996 to 2006, Bahrain once again maintained a de facto moratorium. However, three foreign nationals were executed in December 2006. Reports conflict regarding the nationality of these individuals. Amnesty International states that three Bangladeshi nationals were executed, [6] while Human Rights Watch reports that a Bangladeshi man and women along with a Pakistani man were convicted in two separate murder cases. [7] The latter is likely correct, as Amnesty USA’s reports report the same. Amnesty USA reported that the individuals executed in 2006 were Mohammad Hanif Atta Mohammad, a 37 year old Pakistani national; Jasmine Anwar Hussain, a 23 year old Bangladeshi national; and Mohammad Hilaluddin, a 33 year old Bangladeshi national. [8] After this, one individual—again, a foreigner—was executed only two years later in 2008. [9] In January 2008, an amendment to abolish the death penalty for drug trafficking was proposed and defeated in the Shura Council. [10]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. [11]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

By the end of our research, we found no significant published case concerning the death penalty in Bahrain.

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

By the end of our research, we could not identify any easily accessible source of jurisprudence regarding the death penalty in Bahrain.

What is the clemency process?

In Bahrain, the King must ratify all death sentences before an individual can be executed. [12] The King “may abate or commute a sentence by Decree.” [13] Thus, the possibility of clemency lies with the King, who has the option of rejecting any death sentences and commuting death sentences to life. [14] There is also the possibility of total amnesty, which is decided by law and has “the effect of discontinuing proceedings or nullifying the conviction passed in respect thereof.” [15] Another possibility is that of special amnesty, which is decided by an Amiri Decree that allows for the “extinguishing all or part of the penalty, or replacing it with a less severe penalty.” [16] However, in practice, government pardons are rarely granted in Bahrain. [17] The more realistic possibility of pardon (for an individual who commits murder) may be with the victim's family, who could be persuaded to forgive the offender or accept a payment of diya (blood money compensation). [18]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No, there are no jury trials; Bahrain's civil code and Shari'a legal tradition do not include juries. [19]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Prisoners on death row can appeal their death sentences to a higher court within 30 days. [20] However, for offenses against internal or external security, which are tried before the Civil Supreme Court of Appeal, the accused do not have the right to appeal. [21] For instance, Jassim Abdulmanan, a Bangladeshi national, was sentenced to death in January 2007 by Bahrain’s High Criminal Court. He was able to appeal three times, and a final ruling was made by the Court of Cassation; the sentence was upheld on all three appeals. [22] Another example is that of Russell Mezan, a 26 year old Bangladeshi national sentenced to death by Bahrain’s High Criminal Court on March 23, 2010. His lawyer has appealed his sentence, and the case is to be heard before Bahrain’s Supreme Appeal Court. [23] If the appeals fail for any individual sentenced to death, and the King approves the death sentence, then the accused will face execution.

References

[1] Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Feb. 14, 2002.
[2] Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain, art. 121, Feb. 14, 2002.
[3] Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain, art. 21, Feb. 14, 2002.
[4] Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain, art. 40, Feb. 14, 2002.
[5] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Death penalty/fear of imminent execution, MDE 11/005/2006, Nov. 24, 2006.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Death penalty/fear of imminent execution, MDE 11/005/2006, Nov. 24, 2006.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Further Information on Death Penalty/Fear of Imminent Execution: Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Mia, MDE 11/002/2008, May 9, 2008.
[8] Human Rights Watch, Bahrain: King Should Halt Execution, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/12/09/bahrain-king-should-halt-execution, Dec. 9, 2009.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Death penalty/fear of imminent execution, MDE 11/005/2006, Nov. 24, 2006.
[10] Sara Sami, Woman’s Killer is Executed, Gulf Daily News, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=219375, Jun. 5, 2008.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Death Penalty/Fear of Imminent Execution: Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Mia, MDE 11/001/2008, May 2, 2008.
[12] Sara Sami, Woman’s Killer is Executed, Gulf Daily News, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=219375, Jun. 5, 2008.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Bahrain: Further Information on Death Penalty/Fear of Imminent Execution: Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Mia, MDE 11/002/2008, May 9, 2008.
[14] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 51, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[15] Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain, art. 41, Feb. 14, 2002.
[16] Human Rights Watch, Bahrain: King Should Halt Execution, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/12/09/bahrain-king-should-halt-execution, Dec. 9, 2009.
[17] Priyo News, AI Urges Clemency for Bangladeshi in Bahrain, http://priyo.com/news/2009/dec/05/32673.html, Dec. 5, 2009.
[18] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 89, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[19] Bahrain Penal Code 1976, art. 90, translation: Gulf Translations W.L.L., 1976.
[20] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 262, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[21] See, for example, Mohammed Aslam, Blood Money May Help Free Jailed Killers, Gulf Daily News, http://gulfdailynewsonline.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=205635, Jan. 13, 2008; Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Murder Case Fuels Sectarian Tension in Bahrain, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/983, Jan. 25, 2007.
[22] Dilip K. Das & Michael J. Palmiotto, World Police Encyclopedia: A-K, p. 67, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2006.
[23] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Bahrain, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136066.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[24] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 104, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[25] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 253, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[26] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 104, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[27] Human Rights Watch, Bahrain: King Should Halt Execution, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/12/09/bahrain-king-should-halt-execution, Dec. 9, 2009.
[28] Priyo News, AI Urges Clemency for Bangladeshi in Bahrain, http://priyo.com/news/2009/dec/05/32673.html, Dec. 5, 2009.
[29] Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action: Bangladeshi Sentenced to Death in Bahrain, MDE 11/001/2010, Mar. 26, 2010.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

As of April 14, 2010, we have not discovered where death-sentenced prisoners are incarcerated. In the past, some individuals were executed at Bahrain’s Jaw prison. [1] Since there are so few individuals on death row at any point (currently, an estimate of at least three prisoners [2] ), it is unlikely that there is a separate prison for death row inmates. It is more likely that death row prisoners are housed along with regular prisoners.

Description of Prison Conditions

According to the U.S. State Department, prisons and detention centers in Bahrain generally met international standards. However, the government did not allow independent inspections of prisons by human rights organizations and observers. According to the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), men and women were held in separate prison facilities, and juveniles and adults were also held separately. On May 9, the BHRS inspected the women's prison in Isa Town and reported no major problems. However, it did seem that cells were slightly overcrowded, holding 8-10 women each. [3] Pretrial conditions for some defendants may be significantly different from conditions for convicts, reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) indicate. A February 2010 HRW report reported evidence of systematic torture of detainees by Bahrain’s General Directorate of Criminal Investigations for the purpose of securing confessions. Their evidence consisted of testimonies from victims and former detainees, court documents, and reports of government medical examiners. Detainees had reported being beaten, suspended in painful positions, and subjected to electric shock devices. [4] We have not been able to locate specific information about the treatment of death row prisoners or pretrial capital defendants; since there are very few death row prisoners, [5] it is likely that they are housed along with other prisoners and experience the same prison conditions.

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

Yes; all three of the known individuals currently sentenced to death are foreign nationals. [6]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

One Ethiopian national [7] and two Bangladeshi nationals. [8]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

Yes, Yeshiwork Zewdu, a maid and migrant worker from Ethiopia, is currently sentenced to death. [9]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

No. [10]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

Human rights organizations have expressed concern that there is a serious racial bias in the composition of death row prisoners. In the last five years, about six people have been sentenced to death, all of whom were migrant workers from poor countries. [11] In December 2006 one Pakistani and two Bangladeshi nationals were executed. [12] and in 2008 another Bangladeshi national was executed. [13] In addition, currently on death row are Jassim Abdulmanan, a Bangladeshi national; [14] Russell Mezan, a Bangladeshi national and migrant worker; [15] and Yeshiwork Zewdu, an Ethiopian national and migrant worker. [16] The number of migrant workers who are executed and sentenced to death is disproportionate to the size of their population in Bahrain. [17] There is also evidence that some murders by migrant workers are committed against their sponsors or employers and are triggered by abusive conditions bordering on slavery. [18] As a result, human rights groups have raised fears that the death penalty in Bahrain is discriminately used against migrant workers, and that there is an apparent racial bias in sentencing, primarily against migrant workers from Asia and Africa. [19]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Both in law and in practice, defendants have the right to prompt consultation with an attorney of their choice within 48 hours, and indigent defendants are provided with legal counsel at the expense of the government. [20] Provision of legal counsel to indigent defendants has generally been greater in capital cases than in non-capital cases. [21]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Yes. Indigent prisoners sentenced to death in Bahrain are provided with legal assistance while on appeal. [22]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

By the end of our research, we found no reports on the quality of legal representation in Bahrain.

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Activists and legal experts have pointed out weaknesses in cases where migrant workers, which make up a sizable proportion of Gulf residents, do not receive full legal protection and services because of unfamiliarity with Arabic in courtrooms. Sometimes, translators are not provided. [23] This is an important note because most death row prisoners are indigent migrant workers from foreign countries, and there are concerns about racial bias on death row. [24] Additionally, reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) indicate that some convictions in Bahrain may be illegitimate. A February 2010 HRW report reported indicated evidence of systematic torture of detainees by Bahrain’s General Directorate of Criminal Investigations for the purpose of securing confessions. [25] The validity of these reports, however, has been challenged. [26] In addition, there have been some reports in recent years that guards at pretrial detention centers physically abused detainees; the government denied this allegation. While the Court ordered medical examinations of detainees who made these accusations in 2008, the results were inconclusive, and other prison detainees did not report abuse. [27]

References

[1] Capital Punishment UK, Execution by Shooting, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/shooting.html, last accessed Apr. 20, 2010.
[2] Human Rights Watch, Bahrain: King Should Halt Execution, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/12/09/bahrain-king-should-halt-execution, Dec. 9, 2009.
[3] Noor Toorani, Death Sentence for Vice Killer, Gulf Daily News, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=274031, Mar. 24, 2010.
[4] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Bahrain, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136066.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[6] Joe Stork, Bahrain’s Torture Problem, Human Rights Watch, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/31/bahrains-torture-problem, Mar. 31, 2010.
[7] Human Rights Watch, Bahrain: King Should Halt Execution, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/12/09/bahrain-king-should-halt-execution, Dec. 9, 2009.
[8] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[9] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010.
[10] Suad Hamada, It’s Time to Abolish the Death Penalty – Activists, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50879, Apr. 1, 2010.
[11] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[12] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010.
[13] Suad Hamada, It’s Time to Abolish the Death Penalty – Activists, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50879, Apr. 1, 2010.
[14] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[15] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[16] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010. (This report, which discusses the imposition of the death penalty on persons who were under 18 at the time of the crime, does not indicate that juveniles face execution in Bahrain).
[17] Suad Hamada, It’s Time to Abolish the Death Penalty – Activists, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50879, Apr. 1, 2010.
[18] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010.
[19] Human Rights Watch, Bahrain: King Should Halt Execution, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/12/09/bahrain-king-should-halt-execution, Dec. 9, 2009.
[20] Sara Sami, Woman’s Killer is Executed, Gulf Daily News, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=219375, Jun. 5, 2008.
[21] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010.
[22] Suad Hamada, It’s Time to Abolish the Death Penalty – Activists, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50879, Apr. 1, 2010.
[23] Noor Toorani, Death Sentence for Vice Killer, Gulf Daily News, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=274031, Mar. 24, 2010.
[24] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[25] Suad Hamada, It’s Time to Abolish the Death Penalty – Activists, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50879, Apr. 1, 2010.
[26] BBC News, Ethiopian Girl on Death Row in Bahrain, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1067483.stm, Dec. 12, 2000.
[27] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010.
[28] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Bahrain, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136066.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[29] U.N. CEDAW, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, p. 24, U.N. Doc. CEDAW/C/BHR/2, Nov. 12, 2007.
[30] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 220, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[31] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 253, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[32] Suad Hamada, It’s Time to Abolish the Death Penalty – Activists, Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50879, Apr. 1, 2010.
[33] Nabeel Rajab, Migrant Workers and The Death Penalty in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, Feb. 24, 2010.
[34] Joe Stork, Bahrain’s Torture Problem, Human Rights Watch, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/31/bahrains-torture-problem, Mar. 31, 2010.
[35] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Bahrain, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136066.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[36] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Bahrain, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136066.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

As of June 2010, the HRC had not issued any reports or concluding observations regarding Bahrain’s compliance with the ICCPR. Although Bahrain should have submitted its initial self-report to the Committee by 2007, and HRC concluding observations should have been issued, this has not occurred.

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

The Commission on Human Rights found that Bahrain responded to the Secretary-General’s survey on capital punishment, and was one of the few retentionist countries that reported on the offences punishable by death and on the total number of executions. [1]

Bahrain, in its statements to the Human Rights Council during Bahrain’s Universal Periodic Review in 2008, explained that, despite the presence of capital punishment “in the book,” Bahrain effectively retains capital punishment only for “the most serious crimes” and scarcely ever executes a capital sentence. [2] The Council did not comment or make any recommendations concerning capital punishment in Bahrain. [3] Instructively in determining Bahrain’s definition of “the most serious crimes,” a press release by the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women indicates that, as of 2008, Bahrain considered the death penalty for crimes of “physical assault, violation of honor, and rape” as an “important deterrent to violence against women.” [4]

During the First Session of the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in April 2008, a report indicated that Amnesty International (AI) was concerned about Bahrain’s resumption of the use of the death penalty after more than ten years (from 1996 to December 2006) of a de facto moratorium. AI and Human Rights Watch (HRW) both reported that in November 2006, the King ratified the death sentences of three foreign nationals who were executed by shooting in December 2006. In 2007, at least two more individuals were sentenced to death. Moreover, HRW was also concerned about a new 2006 counter-terrorism law and a 2007 Drug and Psychotropic Substances law, both of which prescribe the death penalty for certain offenses. The counter-terrorism law states that committing or planning terrorist acts is punishable by death. [5]

References

[1] U.N. ECOSOC, Commn. on Human Rights, Civil and Political Rights, Including the Questions of Disappearances and Summary Executions, p. 8, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2006/53/Add.3, Mar. 24, 2006.
[2] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Bahrain, para. 6, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/19, May 22, 2008.
[3] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Bahrain, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/19, May 22, 2008.
[4] U.N. CEDAW, Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Press Release: Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Considers Report of Bahrain, http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/A23086CB57ED7E67C12574F3001FD38A?opendocument, Oct. 30, 2008.
[5] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Accordance With Paragraph 15(C) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, p. 3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/1/BHR/3, Mar. 6, 2008.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Bahrain Human Rights Society
Mr. Ahmed Kadhem Mohamed, Secretary General
Mr. Mohammed Fadhul, Secretary
PO BOX 20306 Budaya, Bahrain
Tel: + 973 39 93 36 54
Fax: +973 17 82 68 36
ahmedhujairi@hotmail.com
moh2.fadhul@gmail.com
http://bhrs.org

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Reprieve
PO Box 72054
London EC3P 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel 020 7553 8140
Fax 020 7553 8189
info@reprieve.org.uk
http://www.reprieve.org.uk

Helpful Reports and Publications

Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Migrant Workers and the Death Penalty in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/3054, submitted at the World Congress Against the Death Penalty, Feb. 24, 2010.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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