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Bahrain Crackdown: Activist’s Death Sentence Upheld, Others to be Forcibly Deported

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Local Editor

Bahrain's Cassation Court ruled in favor of upholding Maher al-Khabaz's death sentence on Monday.

Bahraini activist Maher al-Khabaz

The political activist, who has been on death row since February 2014, is now at imminent risk of execution.

He was convicted of being involved in the alleged killing of a police officer along with nine other defendants.

The latest ruling evidently indicates that the Cassation Court chose to ignore allegations that al-Khabaz's had been subjected to months of grueling torture at the hands of the investigators in his case.

Both his initial conviction and the death sentence were eventually secured through a confession, which al-Khabaz gave while being tortured.

Rights groups, including the UK-based Reprieve, have repeatedly condemned Manama's use of capital punishment.

During last week's interview with LuaLua TV, Brian Dooley of the US-based Human Rights First warned that executions in Bahrain "might happen again".

"19 prisoners being sentenced to death in a country the size of Bahrain is a huge deal and really ought to be something that the EU, particularly, speaks out against," Dooley said.

In a related context, a number of Bahrainis are facing imminent deportation as of Monday after being summoned by Manama's immigration authorities over the weekend.

Videos posted online showed emotional scenes of families saying goodbye to their loved ones following reports that their forcible deportation had been ‘finalized'.

The news comes after Manama's Court of Appeal upheld a 2014 ruling to have ten defendants deported.

The ten were among a group of 31 Bahraini nationals who were arbitrarily stripped of their citizenship by the kingdom's interior ministry on November 6, 2012, on the grounds that they posed a threat to public security. Among them were two former opposition lawmakers and clerics.

Over 500 Bahrainis have had their citizenship revoked since 2012. More than 150 of those were stripped of their nationality last year alone as part of Manama's intensifying crackdown on dissent.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team