Human rights violations

EU pressures Bahrain regime to halt oppression on civil rights

Reliable diplomatic sources revealed that the EU pressures the Bahraini regime to end political and civil rights suppression before organizing the House of Representatives elections scheduled this year.

The sources told Bahraini Leaks that the embassies of European countries are putting pressure on the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to issue a law amending the law of exercising political and civil rights.

The sources pointed out that the European countries want the aforementioned law to allow the majority of the Shiite component and the opposition to participate in the parliamentary elections, which Western capitals are seeking to exercise political pressure.

According to the sources, while Bahrain prepares to organize elections for the House of Representatives in the second half of next year, the Bahraini government is expected to agree with the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure more human rights reforms in response to European pressures.

The sources added that this might include cancelling death sentences against opponents and restoring the citizenships of some politicians and journalists since 2011.

Demands are mounting that opposition leaders should be released from the prisons of the Bahraini regime before the 2022 elections.

While most of the leaders of the political opposition in Bahrain have completed their tenth year behind bars, there are no real indications of a political breakthrough leading to their release on the horizon.

Although some of the detained opposition leaders adopted a hardline stance on the political process, the accession of the Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq Sheikh Ali Salman to them in December 2014 and the sentencing of him to life imprisonment eventually led to the end of political manoeuvring between the opposition and the government, leaving the government with absolute powers.

The Bahrain Press Association confirmed that all opposition leaders are basically “opinion” detainees and that unfair judicial trials do not change the fact that they are “political” prisoners serving “sham” court sentences.

These political leaders have been arrested and imprisoned for expressing their political opinions and the nature of the political system they aspire to, and in no case should their detention continue.

The release of one of the opposition figures, Muhammad Jawad Pervez, months ago (within the Alternative Penal Code), and before him the international human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, confirms that the Bahraini government can release opposition leaders from prisons and that this step will be dealt with positively at various levels, inside and outside Bahrain.

The association stressed that the time has come to open a new page with those who represent the opposition. Also, guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression in the country, within the constitutional and legal constants, does not represent any threat to the country’s stability, politically and security.

The countries allied to Bahrain, especially the United States, the United Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, are called to pressure Bahrain to release opposition leaders and all prisoners of conscience in the country, to cool the political arena, and to make room for more political participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections that are to be held during year from now.

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