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DW: Bahrain has no respect for human rights

Deutsche Welle (DW) published a report documenting the status of human rights in Bahrain, describing it as disastrous and inhumane.

The report said that the human rights situation in Bahrain is catastrophic, as confirmed by a report by Human Rights Watch, noting that Western countries have ignored these violations to preserve their geostrategic and economic interests.

The report, titled “Bahrain: No Respect for Human Rights,” stressed that Bahrain wants to establish itself as an open and tolerant country with religion by opening the largest Catholic church in the Arabian Peninsula recently in the Kingdom of Our Lady of Arabia.

It also claims that its Crown Prince, Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, is an inspiring model for promoting tolerance.

DW pointed out that the ruling Sunni regime in Bahrain has suppressed all attempts by Shiite citizens to participate in political life, especially since the beginning of the protests in 2011, with the help of military forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The report quoted the European expert on Gulf affairs, Guido Steinberg, as saying, “An essential part of Bahraini politics is the massive discrimination against Shiites in the country; and excluding them from political life and power, although they constitute the majority of the population by up to 70 per cent.”

The report indicated that the Bahraini authorities are currently criminalizing freedom of expression and political activities and have targeted hundreds of activists and journalists opposing the regime and have been imprisoned.

In addition, there are 27 people currently on death row, 25 of whom are at risk of carrying out the death penalty, as the government has previously carried out the death sentence against six people, since the end of the moratorium on executions in 2017, according to Human Rights Watch.

The report confirmed that 13 prominent opponents have been serving long sentences since their arrest in 2011 for their role in the pro-democracy protests.

Among these prominent human rights defenders, Abdul Hadi Al-Khawaja, and the academic Abdul Jalil Al-Singace were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq Society, Ali Salman, was also sentenced to life imprisonment after the court upheld the sentence issued against him in January 2019.

The report stated that the Bahraini government banned all independent media from operating in the country, dissolved all opposition political societies, and hacked nine Bahraini activists’ mobile phones through spyware from the Israeli NSO group.

The report said that Bahrain is trying to counteract the Shiite majority demographically by changing the social balance in the country — not only by withdrawing citizenship from Shiite citizens but also by naturalizing foreign Sunnis.

The report said that the rulers in Bahrain want the Shiites to have no political or religious influence, as Shiite mosques were destroyed in the past.” The rulers have destroyed more than thirty Shiite mosques since 2011, with no trace of reconstruction so far.

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