On the Twelfth Anniversary of its Establishment
Waad Reiterates its Convictions of Freedom, Justice and True Democracy
September 11, 2013 marks the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of the National Democratic Action Society (Waad). Waad is the first political organisation duly licensed and registered in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with its official promulgation occurring on September 10, 2001. On this occasion, Waad salutes its members, friends and supporters in Bahrain and abroad for their continuous support throughout all the difficult circumstances it experienced and takes this opportunity to confirm the following principles:
Firstly: Domestic and National Matters
1. Waad was founded on the principles, values and objectives of the attainment of a genuine democracy and has worked tirelessly to embody the same in its actions, stances and events. Waad considers itself a nationalistic and democratic organisation transcending sect, creed, roots, ethnicity and gender. It fights to achieve equal rights for all citizens beyond their tribal, sectarian, racial, ethnic or political affiliations and its members and leadership represent the diversity our society boasts. This diversity is a source of strength and represents the journey of civilisation. Waad’s unwavering faith in Bahrain’s Arab identity and its strong roots in the Arab nation is clearly demonstrated in its condemnation of all forms of foreign interference and claims against Bahrain’s Arab identity.
2. Since its inception and throughout all political milestones the country has experienced, Waad has worked diligently to strengthen national unity, foster social stability, instill civil peace, create equal citizenship, develop a nation where rule of law is upheld, reject discrimination, respect human rights in accordance with the international conventions and treaties, reject ongoing abuses against Bahraini citizens and hold those who are responsible accountable for acts of torture. It also worked arduously to ensure the application of the basic principle of “people are the source of all powers” through the establishment of a fully empowered legislative authority, an executive authority fully representative of people’s will with peaceful transfer of power and an independent and impartial judiciary promulgated through a contractual constitution which mirrors the National Action Charter, ultimately converting our nation into a genuine constitutional monarchy and a modern democratic civil state.
3. Waad believes that the crisis in Bahrain is categorically a constitutional and political crisis and its resolution should be achieved through genuine dialogue and serious purposeful negotiations which are capable of extracting our nation from the grips of sectarian and political tensions and setting it on the right path of permanent sustainability. Furthermore, it believes that the security solutions adopted by the authorities are unable to achieve successful and sustainable outcomes for the crisis that has been raging since February 14, 2011. It also sees that the unity between democratic opposition forces and the development of the same are paramount for the purpose of achieving the legitimate demands of Bahraini people.
4. Since its inception, Waad has stood by limited income factions and marginalised components of our society including labourers, the poor and destitute, women, youth, children and those with special needs. It worked tirelessly to aid them in achieving their demands for a decent life, appropriate standard of living, fair wage, suitable jobs, proper housing for each family, modern education, medical care, equality, social justice, genuine democracy and to foster genuine economic and social programmes leading to sustainable human development.
5. Waad has stood its ground through its uncompromising adherence to inclusive national principles. It exposed administrative and financial corruption, called for genuine political reform, vehemently rejected all forms of violence and counter violence and believed unequivocally in peaceful means to achieve political goals. This firm principled stance has raised the ire of enemies of freedom and democracy who commenced a war against Waad’s leaders and election candidates through the use of coerced votes, public voting centres and defamation of its history in biased media outlets lacking the minimum standards of professionalism. Its headquarters was the subject of an arson attack and its Muharraq branch the victim of repeated attacks of vandalism and theft. Additionally, the house of one of its leaders, Dr. Munira Fakhro, has been attacked with firebombs in attempt to burn it to the ground with its inhabitants. The Public Prosecution has failed to action any of the claims brought forward by Waad with respect to such attacks. Instead, Waad’s activities were forcefully halted and its headquarters sealed off during the National Safety State in March, 2011. This rabid revenge campaign was crowned with the arrest of its Secretary General, Ebrahim Sharif Al Sayed, on March 17, 2011 who has been subjected to heinous acts of physical and psychological torture in addition to being charged of false and malicious accusations which clearly conflict with Waad’s principles and what he stands for. He was later sentenced to five (5) years in prison despite the lack of any substantial or tangible proof of any of the charges brought against him, which only serves to strengthen our calls for his immediate vindication and release, in addition to genuine reform of the judiciary to achieve the required independence.
Secondly: GCC and Regional Matters
1. Waad believed and continues to believe in GCC unity. It urges the GCC regimes to abandon the restrictive geographical control mentality and move towards unity on the basis of effective participation of GCC nationals in political, economic and social decision making, in addition to achieving fair distributions of wealth. This should be achieved through proper democratic legislative and supervisory institutions, the release of public freedoms with freedom of expression, protest and press at the forefront, in addition to the fostering of civil society institutions as the fifth authority. This will pave the way towards achieving harmonious economic integration in the GCC and the Arab world and will lead towards the desired Arab unity.
2. Waad believes that the Palestinian cause is the central concern for the nation being the main source of regional conflict. It firmly believes in the right of the Palestinian people to liberate their entire land, establish their own independent democratic state with Jerusalem as its capital, ensure the return of all refugees and their right to legitimate resistance against the Zionist entity and its allies.
Twelve (12) years from its establishment and from the commencement of public licensed political work in Bahrain with the initiative and leadership of the late Abdulrahman Al Noaimi and his comrades, Waad still reiterates the importance of the cessation of the security solutions and the commencement of a genuine political resolution. This resolution should be attained through an historical settlement which enables progress and sustainability, the abolishment of repression and abuse directed at a broad category of Bahraini citizens and the halting of human rights abuses including the arrest campaigns, raids and pursuits which have not persisted. Furthermore, Waad demands the release of all prisoners of conscience, with its Secretary General Ebrahim Sharif Al Sayed, at the forefront and urges the abandonment of public relation companies which continue to vilify and distort the image of peaceful resistance in Bahrain. Moreover, the tensions must be eased through the release of school and university students to allow them to pursue their right to education. Media and press incitement lead and encouraged by official outlets must be curbed and sectarian discrimination policies implemented by government and semi-government agencies with the support of the Civil Service Bureau must be stopped. Waad also reconfirms the urgent need to abandon collective punishment mentalities which have impacted the educational workforce in schools, universities, institutions and the Ministry of Education.
Glory and immortality to the martyrs of Bahrain and the Arab nation.
Freedom to those who demand freedom and social justice.
National Democratic Action Society (Waad)
September 11, 2013