Ali Al-Aswad from Geneva: Bahraini Authorities Failed to Convince Int’l Community the Opposition is “Terrorist”
2018-03-02 - 12:08 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Prominent Al-Wefaq official Ali Al-Aswad said that the Bahraini authorities have failed to convince the international community that the opposition is a terrorist group.
He explained in an interview with Lualua TV at the Human Rights Council in Geneva that the 37th session witnessed the final speech of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad (who will leave his post this year), stressing that his address of the situation of the most prominent rights activist in Bahrain Nabeel Rajab was noteworthy. He also noted that his words are "a sign of the ongoing repression, and that the repression is systematic."
Al-Aswad reiterated that the authorities failed in their endeavors by banning activists from travel to mislead the international community, pointing out that the Bahraini human rights community is viewed in Geneva as "courageous and daring in their continued communication with the Human Rights Council and sending of human rights reports."
The former MP mentioned the "judiciary's independence," saying that the official delegations in Geneva spoke of the issue very clearly and frankly, noting that some of these delegations indicated in their meetings with the opposition that they are aware of some judicial decisions three days before their issuance, which means that these sentences "are pre-prepared."
He further highlighted that the most prominent thing to be discussed with the official delegations in Geneva are the issues of the dissolution of Al-Wefaq, the upholding of the death sentences, and the cases against the senior human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and spiritual leader of the Bahraini Shiite majority, Sheikh Isa Qassim, adding that there is "a very negative view regarding Bahrain, and a clear knowledge of the reality of what is taking place in spite of the blackout."
Al-Aswad also pointed out that there is ongoing talk about the issues of nationality revocation, harassment of Shiite clerics and restriction of political groups. "There are also talks by these countries with the Bahraini government with regards to its method of "weakening civil society groups such as the Teachers' Association, the Lawyers Association and the Bahrain Trade Union."
"Bahrain's official delegations come to Geneva to focus on a specific point, i.e. ‘there is no opposition in Bahrain, but only terrorists,'" adding that the ambassador of Bahrain to Moscow "spoke to a Russian TV channel today saying that Al-Wefaq is linked to terrorism," stressing that he; however, "fails to convince anyone of this. The government also fails to convince the world that the opposition is a terrorist group."
The senior Al-Wefaq leader further stated that there were attempts by the Government of Bahrain to suppress the voices of the opposition in the international media, which failed as well.
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