SHAFAQNA – Bahraini and Foreign activists chose to build a symbolic monument, a huge balloon resembling the Pearl (LuaLua) Roundabout, in Washington to voice their support for the protest movement that was launched in Bahrain in 2011.
The white balloon, which is about 12 feet long, was placed in front of the Bahraini Embassy in Washington on Friday (February 12, 2016) and formed a background for a protest led by prominent human rights defenders on the fifth anniversary of the uprising. Many slogans were chanted in the protest which lasted for an hour approximately amid the cold weather in Washington such as “Release the journalists in Bahrain”, “Stop torture in Bahrain” and “Release the political prisoners in Bahrain”.
Brian Dooley, the director of the Human Rights Defenders programs in Human Rights First, took part in the vigil named “Rebuild the Pearl Roundabout” and delivered a speech on the occasion in which he stressed on his belief that change is going to take place in Bahrain tomorrow, if not today.
Husain Abdulla, the executive director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain; the organization that supervised the preparation of the vigil, said in a speech he delivered “the Bahraini government demolished the Pearl Roundabout but it is still found in the hearts of democracy seekers”.
“We are here today because there are thousands of detainees in Bahrain due to demanding democracy,” he added.
Human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja also delivered a speech in which she said: “When my father was at the Roundabout, he said when we gain victory, we will not torture them as they did to us and we will grant them fair trials because this is what distinguishes us.”