Police storm Bahraini embassy in London and arrest protester who climbed onto roof – as activists accuse embassy staff of beating him and trying to throw him off the building
- Police stormed the Bahraini embassy with a protestor screaming from the roof
- Moosa Mohamed called on the PM to ask the King of Bahrain to stay executions of men who allegedly confessed under torture and were given unfair trials
- Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali were executed by firing squad hours later
- Pro-democracy groups alleged embassy staff were about to throw him off rood
Police stormed the Bahraini Embassy in London on Friday night after a dissident climbed onto the roof in a desperate plea to save the lives of two men executed hours later allegedly confessing to terrorism offences under torture.
Moosa Mohamed could be heard shouting ‘Boris Johnson wake up, prime minister, wake up’ as supporters and passers-by gathered in the street below on Friday night.
He unfurled a banner reading: ‘I am risking my life to save two men about to be executed in the next few hours. Boris Johnson act now!’
Mr Mohamed vowed not to leave the roof until Mr Johnson contacted the King of Bahrain to stop the executions, which went ahead on Saturday morning.
vIDEO OF THE INCIDENT
A livestream of the protest, in London’s Belgrave Square, showed police facilitating the demonstration before panic broke out when a second figure was seen on the roof.
Mr Mohamed was on the embassy rooftop to demand a stop to the imminent execution of two torture victims, Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali.
But within hours Bahrain had shot both dead after they were convicted on terror charges, despite international appeals for clemency amid concerns the pair did not receive a fair trial and were coerced into making confessions through torture.
Bahraini Attorney General Ahmed al-Hammadi said in a statement on Saturday that the men, who were not identified, were involved in ‘terrorist’ operations that killed a security officer, among other charges. They were put to death by firing squad.
Rights groups identified the pair as Ali al-Arab, 25, and Ahmad al-Malali, 24.
The two men, who were arrested separately in February 2017, were convicted in January 2018 in a mass trial involving some 60 people.
Both were allegedly subjected to torture, as well as prevented from attending their trial and sentenced to death in absentia, al Jazeera reported.
The executions came hours after Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, appealed to Bahrain’s government to stop the executions of al-Arab and al-Malali.
‘The authorities in Bahrain must immediately halt any plans to execute these men, annul the death sentences against them and ensure they are retried in accordance with international law and standards,’ Callamard said in a statement on Friday.
‘Capital punishment may only be carried out for the most serious crimes and after a legal process which has included all possible safeguards aimed at ensuring a fair trial.’
Rights groups had also called for the halting of the executions.
‘If the Bahraini authorities go through with these executions it would be an utterly shameful show of contempt for human rights,’ Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said on Friday.
‘[The death penalty’s] use is appalling in all circumstances, but it is all the more shocking when it is imposed after an unfair trial in which the defendants were tortured to ‘confess’.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said officers were called to the Bahrain embassy at 10.45pm on Friday to reports of a man on the roof.
‘Officers and London Fire Brigade attended.
‘Upon hearing a disturbance on the roof, officers entered the building and detained the man. Security staff were also present.
‘The man was arrested for trespass on a diplomatic premises. He is currently in police custody.’