Document - Bahrain: Death penalty: 'Issa Ahmad Hassan Qambar

EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: MDE 11/13/95

Distr: UA/SC


UA 162/95Death Penalty6 July 1995


BAHRAIN'Issa Ahmad Hassan Qambar



Amnesty International has received information that 'Issa Ahmad Hassan Qambar was sentenced to death by the Bahraini High Criminal Court (mahkamat al-Kubrya al-Juza'iya) on 4 July 1995, after being convicted of the murder of a police sergeant, Ibrahim Rashid Abdul Karim al-Sa'idi, in Nuwaidrat on 22 March 1995. As far as Amnesty International is aware, the Amir of Bahrain, Shaikh 'Issa Bin Salman Al Khalifa has not yet ratified the death sentence. Should he do so, Amnesty International fears that 'Issa Ahmad Hassan Qambar, may be at risk of imminent execution.


In addition, Amnesty International is deeply concerned that 'Issa Ahmad Hassan Qambar was tried and convicted by the Bahrain High Criminal Court, following procedures which fall far short of international standards for fair trial. The sessions were held in camera and the defendant was apparently not represented by lawyers. In addition, there are fears that he may have been convicted on the basis of a confession extracted under torture. There is no right of appeal to a higher court. Amnesty International is concerned that the trial does not comply with the 1984 United Nations Safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty (paragraph 5), including the right of anyone suspected of, or charged with, a crime for which capital punishment may be imposed to "adequate legal assistance at all stages of the proceedings".


BACKGROUND INFORMATION


It is rare for the death penalty to be applied in Bahrain. In July 1990, the High Criminal Court sentenced a Pakistani national to death for drug-trafficking; however it is not known whether or not that sentence was ever carried out. The last executions were carried out in March 1977. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the death penalty has been imposed following trial procedures which fail to meet international standards for fair trial.


RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:

- expressing regret at the death sentence passed on 'Issa Ahmad Hassan Qambar and urging that it be commuted;

- urging that international safeguards for defendants charged with capital offences are strictly observed during trials;

- explaining Amnesty International's unconditional opposition to the death penalty, and that its campaign to abolish it worldwide is based on the right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and pointing out that there is no evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime.


APPEALS TO:


His Highness

Shaikh 'Issa Bin Salman Al Khalifa

Office of His Highness the Amir

PO Box 555

The Amiri Court

Rifa'a Palace, Bahrain

Telexes:8666 Qasar BN; 8500 Qasar BN

Telegrams:His Highness the Amir, al-Manama, Bahrain

Faxes:+973 668884

Salutation: Your Highness


Minister of Interior

His Excellency

Shaikh Muhammad Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa

Minister of Interior

PO Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain

Telexes:9572 PSMKT BN or 7889 PMPO BN

Telegrams:Minister of Interior, al-Manama, Bahrain

Faxes:+973 276765

Salutation:Your Excellency


Prime Minister

His Excellency

Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa

Prime Minister

PO Box 1000, al-Manama, Bahrain

Telexes:9336 PROM BN or 7889 PMPO BN


COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: diplomatic representatives of Bahrain accredited to your country.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 17 August 1995.