Bahrain is still a human rights blackhole

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SHAFAQNA – Amnesty International issued a scathing critic of al-Khalifa regime this January as the rights group noted how the regime utterly failed to address calls for restraints vis a vis the political opposition.

Amnesty International wrote, “The Bahraini authorities continue to silence the opposition by the use of unnecessary force, arrest and imprison protesters and political opposition leaders, and torture detainees.”

Under allegations of national security and counter-terrorism, Manama has run a veritable witch-hunt against rights and political activist, thus betraying its duty of care towards its people.

Al-Khalifa monarchy – a satellite of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia – has long victimized its religious minorities, arguing social cohesion to justify its human rights abuses and sectarian-motivated crackdown.
“Protesters took to the streets across the Arab world in 2011, pushing their leaders to end decades of oppression,” said Amnesty in its campaign.

“The Middle East and North Africa was engulfed in an unprecedented outburst of popular protests and demand for reform. It began in Tunisia and spread within weeks to Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria,” it added.

Amnesty further stated that “many hoped that this ‘Arab Spring’ would bring in new governments that would deliver political reform and social justice. But the reality is more war and violence, and a crackdown on people who dare to speak out for a fairer, more open society.

“In Syria, Egypt, Bahrain and other countries, governments are attacking free speech by locking up human rights activists, political opponents and critics, often in the name of counter-terrorism. What’s more, few have been brought to justice for the violence, killings and torture which took place during and after the protests of 2011,” it stressed, quoting prominent Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab: “Most human rights activists and political leaders in Bahrain are behind bars,” he said.

Under the title “What are we calling for?,” Amnesty declared that “together, we need to push countries to stop attacking civilians during armed conflicts. They must also stop locking people up just for criticizing governments, and bring to justice the people responsible for human rights crimes.

 

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