Trial of Activist Who Protested Against Executions From the Roof of Bahraini Embassy in London Adjourned Until September

3 June 2020 – On Monday, the trial of Bahraini refugee and photojournalist Moosa Mohammed on charges of aggravated trespass on a diplomatic premises was adjourned at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at the request of his legal counsel. Mr Mohammed was represented at this hearing by Kirsty Brimelow QC of Doughty Street Chambers. 

 Pre-trial applications made on behalf of Mr Mohammed in writing that his trial be adjourned owing to concerns surrounding COVID-19 were previously rejected by the Court. However, presiding District Judge Jacobs ruled at Monday’s hearing that the adjournment ought to be allowed to ensure Mr Mohammed a fair trial. His trial was therefore re-listed for 18 September 2020. The adjournment will also allow the Crown Prosecution Service to serve submissions relating to the admissibility of expert evidence of Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. Mr Mohammed seeks to rely on this evidence.

 Mr Mohammed faces trial for trespass on diplomatic premises, arising from him scaling the roof of the Bahrain’s London embassy last July. He acted to protest the then imminent planned execution of victims of torture imprisoned in Bahrain. The dramatic incident, in which video evidence appeared to show embassy staff assaulting Mr Mohammed, ended when Metropolitan Police forced entry to the embassy out of apparent concern for Mr Mohammed’s safety.

 Mr Mohammed’s defence is that he was acting out of necessity to prevent the execution of Ali Al Arab, 25, and Ahmed Al Malali, 24. The two Bahraini activists were killed by firing squad hours after Mr Mohammed’s protest, in what were condemned by Agnes Callamard as “arbitrary killings.”

 Mr Mohammed is represented by Ella Jefferson of Bindmans LLP. 

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