Bahrain Foreign Nationals and the Death Penalty Death Penalty Overview There has been a marked escalation in the use of the death penalty in Bahrain in recent years. After Bahrain lifted a seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in 2017, execution rates have increased by 20% and death sentences have risen by an alarming 600%. Despite international pressure and opposition from the United Nations, the death penalty remains an integral part of Bahrain's penal system. Bahrain has a dual legal system, with both civil and Shari’a courts. The death penalty can be imposed for a range of offences, including treason, terrorism and drug traf cking. The death penalty can also be imposed for sexual assault of a minor, arson of public or government buildings and espionage. Of particular concern is the increasing use of the death penalty in cases allegedly related to terrorism, which often appear to target critics of the Bahraini government. The illde ned offence of 'terrorism' has raised concerns as it allows the Bahraini government to misuse the legal system to criminalise acts of opposition, freedom of expression and assembly. A joint report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) (2022) makes serious allegations about the judicial process, suggesting that many of these sentences are based on 'manifestly unfair trials' and primarily or solely on confessions that were believed to be extracted through torture and ill-treatment. In a signi cant departure from previous practice, Bahrain introduced the death penalty for drug offences for the rst time in 2018. According to a report by Reprieve and BIRD, 12% (3 out of 26) of those on death row in Bahrain in 2021 were sentenced to death for drug offences. Although no executions have yet been carried out for drug offences, fi fi fi fi Death Sentences, Reprieve (2021)

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