US Congress asked to address human rights condition in Bahrain

October 29, 2016 8:45 pm

Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab (Photo by Reuters)

Prominent Bahraini human rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab has called upon US statesmen to address the dire situation of human rights in the kingdom as the ruling Al Khalifah regime continues with its crackdown against opposition figures and pro-democracy activists.
The 52-year-old president of the Center for Human Rights, in a letter sent to the US Congress a day before his trial on October 30, stated that he “cannot remain silent … whatever the punishment” against him would be, Arabic-language al-Youm website reported.
Rajab wrote that he faces a prison sentence of 15 years over posting Twitter messages and exercising his right to freedom of expression, in addition to fresh charges of “spreading falsehood” after the US daily The New York Times published an op-ed by him about the Manama regime’s repression.
The Bahrain right campaigner expressed concern over “the rapid deterioration of the situation of human rights in Bahrain,” calling on the United States to take a clear position regarding the issue.
Rajab also pointed to the growing figure of people whom have been arrested in Bahrain over exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly, stating that the country now ranks first in the concerning the number of prisoners of conscience.

A Bahraini protester throws back a tear gas canister during clashes with regime forces following a demonstration in the village of Bilad al-Qadeem on the outskirts of the capital Manama on February 13, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

He emphasized that investigation and trial procedures in Bahrain are being conducted in the absence of standards of justice, arguing that state institutions tasked with dealing with cases of prisoners’ torture are actually ineffective.
Rajab further underlined that the so-called complaints department at the Bahraini Ministry of Interior is “not impartial and independent,” and it does not treat victims fairly.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
Manama has spared no effort to clamp down on the dissent and rights activists.  On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown on anti-regime activists.
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