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waad:The EU foreign ministers must urge the regime to cease its violations and comply with its human rights undertakings
Categary : Statements

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2013-06-30 17:09:31




Statement Issued by the National Democratic Action Society (Waad)

 

  • Mobilisation of security solutions to resolve political crises has failed globally  and the governments utilising the same have since fallen
  • Official state media must cease its political and sectarian provocations
  • Ongoing violations demonstrate the regime’s persistence on withholding any vision for a political solution
  • Ebrahim Sharif and other leaders are prisoners of conscience as documented  by the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI Report) and they must be released immediately
  • Calling on all human rights organisations to take a firm stance against the systematic violations against Bahraini citizens
  • Friends of the regime must urge it to invoke immediate security relief, propose a political resolution to the raging conflict  and implement its international commitments
  • The EU foreign ministers must urge the regime to cease its violations and comply with its human rights undertakings
  •  

    Waad reiterates that the resolution to the political and constitutional crisis that has raged since 14 February, 2011 will only be achieved with the abolition of security measures and tactics, such tactics which have not only failed globally but also brought governments in pursuit of the same to their knees. The Bahraini government and its forces have continued on this security path since the period of National Safety, first declared on the 16 March, 2011, systematically violating human rights, pursuing extra-judicial killings and detention even after lifting the state of National Safety. Waad has long emphasised that only a serious dialogue can provide instrumental solutions to the current crisis. It is only such dialogue which can cease the security, political and economic deterioration the country is currently experiencing; and only such dialogue is able to relieve the social tensions harboured and encouraged by official state media and local state-backed newspapers.

     

    Waad has also stated repeatedly that the extent of violations against citizens in different areas in Bahrain, including arbitrary arrests and continued torture tactics, prove the regime’s insistence on withholding its vision of a political solution.  Such stance is particularly amalgamated at a time when prisoners of conscience continue to languish in Bahrain’s prisons and detention centres, amongst whom is Waad’s Secretary General, Ebrahim Sharif, who was sentenced to a five-year term of imprisonment because he expressed his opinion, along with other political leaders and human rights activists. The BICI Report has confirmed the status of these men as prisoners of conscience and the political leadership in Bahrain accepted the BICI Report with full commitment before the world to the implementation of its recommendations.

     

    Waad’s Secretary General and his comrades in prison today face ongoing and systematic harassment by the authorities, including but not limited to, withholding the necessary medical treatment required after systematic torture, which was also documented by the BICI Report. This inaction by itself constitutes persistent torture according to international standards.  Ebrahim Sharif and his comrades are also prohibited from the exercise of their basic rights as prisoners, most notably the prevention of familial visits for approximately four months to date, with the latest unsuccessful visit occurring last Saturday. They have been forbidden the use of some personal hygiene items and their families in turn have been forbidden from delivering personal items such as books and magazines which are freely and widely available in local stores yet refused and censored by the prison authorities. Accordingly, all of these actions and inactions come in line with their adopted policy of systematic torture and harassments that is not only rejected but also condemned by international standards and human rights agreements.

     

    Waad rejects and condemns all such forms of ill treatment that the Secretary General and other political leaders and prisoners of conscience are exposed to inside Bahraini prisons. It demands that the international community and human rights organisations stand for justice and protect the political prisoners’ right to a free and just trial, deeming all confessions obtained under torture as null and void, calling for their immediate unequivocal release, holding their torturers accountable before independent investigative committees and just trials. The BICI Report has confirmed the innocence of the political leaders including Ebrahim Sharif, considering them political and human rights’ prisoners of conscience. Paragraphs 1701-1720 of the said Report described the martial nature of their trial and the violation of fair trial standards. The Report also recommended in Paragraph 1291, “that all persons charged with offences involving political expression, not consisting of advocacy of violence, have their convictions reviewed and sentences commuted or, as the case may be, outstanding charges against them dropped.” Therefore, these prisoners should have been immediately released following the publication of this Report instead of their continued detention and their torturers and tormentors should have been held accountable. The Report has clearly demonstrated numerous cases of torture, including Ebrahim Sharif’s personal statement of his torture, the violation of his rights, the degradation of his dignity and the general mistreatment he had experienced.

     

    Furthermore, the judgment issued by the first Court of Cassation on 30 April, 2012 revoking all military court verdicts came in line with the recommendations of the BICI Report, a judgment which was later disregarded by judges of other courts.  The Court of Cassation ruling for overturning all military court verdicts was based on the aforementioned courts having failed to demonstrate the basic elements of the alleged crimes, the intent and the act, and failed to provide any substantial evidence in support of the same.  Additionally, the Court of Cassation also stated that the military courts failed to provide any evidence of the accused resorting to violence, terrorism, illegitimate means, plotting to overthrow the regime by force via organising terrorist cells and communicating with a foreign country. In light of the aforementioned legal and procedural irregularities, the Court of Cassation revoked the military court verdicts and stated that the same need to be corrected accordingly. 

     

    Waad takes this opportunity to ask all the regime’s friends to advise and urge it to cease its violations against unarmed Bahraini citizens, begin negotiations with the political opposition, build a road map that begins with the real and true implementation of the BICI Report recommendations and the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Such recommendations demand the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience who remain in prison after being tortured and sentenced based on confessions made under torture and duress.

     

    Waad also calls on all EU foreign ministers that gather today in Manama with their GCC counterparts, to properly exercise their moral, ethical and political role towards resolving the situation in Bahrain.  They must collectively urge the regime to alleviate the security situation, implement a real political resolution, fulfill its national and international commitments to human rights and cease the sectarian provocation that is often practiced by state media outlets.   Only then will Bahrain be able to walk on the path towards genuine democracy, social justice, equal citizenship and the establishment of a modern, civil, democratic state.

     

    The National Democratic Action Society (Waad)

    30 June, 2013

     
     
     
     
     

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