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Al-Wefaq Report on "Restrictive Political Environment in Bahrain": Regime Prevented Political work, Committed Various Violations

2023-03-06 - 3:23 p

Bahrain Mirror: Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society launched on Saturday, March 4, 2023, a report entitled "Restrictive Political Environment in Bahrain," in which it shed light on the political and human rights situation in Bahrain, with the approach of the IPU meetings convening in Bahrain from 11 to 15 March 2023 in Manama.

Al-Wefaq noted in its report that "the number of citizens who have been subjected to arbitrary arrests since 2011 has exceeded 14,000 case, while the ban on comprehensive peaceful assembly continues for 1513 days," explaining that "the authorities refused to authorize (143) requests for demonstrations by opposition forces before the dissolution of political associations."

The report said that the security campaigns and violations targeted 15 former parliamentarians in Bahrain because of the use of their right to freedom of opinion, on top Al-Wefaq Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Salman and former MP Sheikh Hasan Isa, who are still in arbitrary detention after political trials.

The report said "Between 2011 and 2023, Bahraini courts issued many judicial rulings with political and human rights backgrounds, after trials that were described as lacking fair trial standards." It noted that "More than 50,000 hearings were held to try defendants on issues related to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly."

"The Bahraini authorities have also provided themselves with a legal pretext for the arbitrary revocation of nationality, through the Nationality Law and the Law of Terrorism."

"We note the absence of many of the political rights in Bahrain, in addition to the existence of widespread violations that undermine political and human rights work including: banning political assemblies, dissolving and targeting political associations, especially opposition ones, pursuing and targeting political activists because of their exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, leading to the political isolation," it further added.

The report stated "Among the reasons that caused the violation of political rights is the noncontractual constitution of 2002, as well as the subsequent amendments to it, which led to the absence of important political principles and rights, especially the principle of people are the source of powers."

It read: "Political rights are linked to several matters. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights emphasized a number of them, the most important of which can be referred: The right to participate in political affairs, so that the people are a source of authorities; and The right to a fair trial and the inadmissibility of convicting any person of committing an act that does not constitute a criminal offense, especially when it is based on the practice of political work."

The report mentioned that "The electoral process in 2022 coincided with the Bahraini authorities completing the provisions of what the former High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR), Prince Zeid bin Raad Al-Hussein, described as " closure of the democratic space"; by restricting freedom of expression, confiscating freedom of assembly and establishing associations."

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