Bahraini NGOs Welcome EU Parliament Resolution on Bahrain

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The Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the European-Bahraini Center for Human Rights, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, and the Bahrain Human Rights Society join together to welcome the EU Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in Bahrain (2013/2830(RSP)).

The EU Parliament stated that the human rights situation in Bahrain ‘remains a matter of concern in the wake of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 2011’. The resolution goes on to note that ‘many recent actions of the Bahraini Government continue to violate and restrict the rights and freedoms of segments of the Bahraini people, in particular the right of individuals to peaceful protest, freedom of expression and digital freedom’.

We support the EU Parliament’s call for the Bahraini authorities to put an immediate end to all acts of repression, including judicial harassment. We join the EU Parliament in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, political activists, journalists, bloggers, doctors and paramedics, human rights defenders and peaceful protesters, including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Nabeel Rajab, Ibrahim Sharif, Naji Fateel, Zainab Al-Khawaja, Mohammed Al-Maskati,Mahdi Abu Deeb and Jalila Al-Salman.

The above mentioned NGOs reiterates the Parliament’s regret in regards to the weak EU response to the ongoing situation in Bahrain and join the EU Parliament in calling on the HR/VP to condemn the ongoing violations of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to impose targeted restrictive measures (visa bans and asset freezes) against those individuals responsible for, and involved in, the human rights abuses as documented by the BICI report.

We also urge the Bahraini authorities to respect the rights of juveniles and to refrain from detaining them in adult facilities. The Bahraini authorities must treat juveniles in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Bahrain is a party. In the month of August alone, the BCHR documented the arrest of at least 15 children under the age of 18.

Teargas is the leading cause of death amongst pro-democracy protesters, and we call on the EU to ban all sales of tear gas to the government of Bahrain. Such an action would clearly demonstrate that there are consequences for Bahrain’s failure to fulfill international obligations.

The BCHR, BYSHR, EBOHR and the BHRS would like to extend our thanks in particular to the Members of Parliament who signed this resolution, including Marietje Schaake, Ana Gomes, Edward McMillan-Scott, Richard Howitt, Cristian Dan Preda, Bernd Posselt, Tunne Kelam, Roberta Angelilli, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Monica Luisa Macovei, Philippe Boulland, Jean Roatta, Mariya Gabriel, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Giovanni La Via, Eduard Kukan, Sari Essayah, Petri Sarvamaa, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Krzysztof Lisek, Zuzana Roithová, Bogusław Sonik, Véronique De Keyser, Pino Arlacchi, Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Joanna Senyszyn, Mitro Repo, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Marielle de Sarnez, Sarah Ludford, Graham Watson, Louis Michel, Hannu Takkula, Robert Rochefort, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Angelika Werthmann, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Margrete Auken, Barbara Lochbihler, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, and Raül Romeva i Rueda.

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