Bahrain: Bangladeshi man faces rare execution

Amnesty International is appealing to the King of Bahrain to stop the execution of a Bangladeshi man, currently facing what would be a rare execution in the country. Jassim Abdulmanan, is facing death by firing squad unless the Bahraini king, Shaikh Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa, opts to prevent the killing. In Bahrain the king ratifies death sentences and if he does so Mr Abdulmanan could be executed within weeks. Amnesty International has issued an “urgent action” appeal, meaning its supporters are contacting the Bahraini king and the Bahraini embassy in London. Amnesty International UK anti-death penalty campaigner Kim Manning Cooper said: “Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all instances, but it’s especially disappointing when a country that rarely carries out executions reverts to this cruel and unnecessary punishment. “We are not seeking to minimise the impact of a serious crime like murder but King Khalifa should exercise mercy and prevent this judicial killing.” Mr Abdulmanan was originally sentenced to death by the country’s High Criminal Court in January 2007, after being found guilty of the murder in October 2005 of another Bangladeshi called Ridar Mian. Two other Bangladeshi nationals were sentenced to life imprisonment in the same case. After all three men lodged an appeal in April this year, the country’s Supreme Appeal Court reduced the two life sentences to 15 years' imprisonment but upheld the death sentence against Jassim Abdulmanan. On 16 November 2009, the Court of Cassation in Bahrain upheld the death penalty against Abdulmanan, leaving only the king to decide his fate. The death penalty is rarely used in Bahrain. In the last five years it is believed that only six people have been sentenced to death. In December 2006 three Bangladeshi nationals were executed, the first people to be put to death in Bahrain since 1996. Amnesty fears that the death penalty in Bahrain is disproportionately used against foreign nationals. In December last year the Bahraini government abstained in the vote for a United Nations resolution calling for a moratorium on executions globally. The resolution was passed by a vote of 106 in favour to 46 against, with 34 abstentions.

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