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Three Bahraini HR Org. Contact Intíl Parties: Upcoming Elections in Bahrain Unfair

2018-11-07 - 8:38 p

Bahrain Mirror: Three human rights organizations, Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, Bahrain Forum for Human Rights and The Gulf Institution for Democracy and Human Rights contacted international parties to inform them about why they believe the upcoming elections in Bahrain lack impartiality and independency.

In a letter sent to more than 200 international bodies, the organizations indicated that not all Bahraini citizens are able to practice their constitutional rights to participate in the general elections without intimidation and fear for their own security. They have also stated in the letter that the oppression against the opposition is still ongoing, indicating that it is a serious violation of rights of Bahraini citizens to equal opportunity to vote and to be elected, which is clearly stipulated in the constitution of Bahrain and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

"The Bahraini authorities prepared the ground for the 2018 Elections through enhancing barriers against opposition groups. In June 2018, the King ratified the amendment to Law No. 14 of 2002 that prevented individuals from running for parliamentary elections permanently, including those previously convicted to a jail sentence of six months or more; leaders and members of dissolved political organizations that were dissolved; and whoever destroys or disrupts the conduct of constitutional or parliamentary life by terminating or leaving the parliamentary work in the Council," the organizations stated in their letter.

They added "in fact, these conditions are applied to almost all of dissidents and political societies, as many of political leaders have been arbitrarily punished to jail sentence while political groups forcibly dissolved in the past 7 years."

The organizations noted that "In 2012, the Bahraini government arrested 200 members of the Islamic Action Society (Amal) and dissolve the organization for their participation in the 2011 uprising. In 2016, Al-Wefaq, the largest political society in Bahrain, was also forced to close, with its funds arbitrarily liquidated. In the following year, the National Democratic Society (Wa'ad), the largest liberal party, went through the same path on the charges of inciting terrorism."

The 3 organizations added that "a number of members and leaders of political societies remain under surveillance of the government, or in jail. The Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman, for instance, has been in jail since December 2014, being accused of provoking hatred against the regime and he been life sentenced."

Arabic Version