Forcibly Exiled MPs to IPU Secretary-General: Bahrain Very Distant from Implementing Principles You Promote
2023-03-13 - 4:44 م
Bahrain Mirror: Forcibly exiled Bahraini MPs called on Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretary-General Martin Chungong to demand Bahrain, which is currently hosting the IPU 146th General Assembly, to release all political prisoners, on top Al-Wefaq Secretary-General and former MP Sheikh Ali Salman as well as former MP Sheikh Hasan Isa.
In a joint letter, forcibly exiled MPs Sheikh Hassan Sultan, Jawad Fairooz, Jalal Fairooz, Matar Matar, and Ali Al-Aswad called on the IPU to "call on the Government of Bahrain to allow the formation of political opposition societies and ensure that their work is carried out without obstacles, and to engage in a genuine and inclusive dialogue that paves the way to build a just and democratic state."
They expressed "grave concern over the meetings of the IPU General Assembly while hundreds of citizens are in prison, including opposition leaders, scholars, academics, human rights defenders and activists, on charges related to the exercise of their right to opinion, expression and calling for dialogue and democratic transition, on top the Secretary-General of the largest dissolved political society, the head of Bahrain's largest parliamentary bloc ever, Sheikh Ali Salman, who was sentenced to life in jail along with Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Al-Aswad."
"After the popular uprising in 2011, the government of Bahrain imposed restrictions on freedom of expression and association, targeting at least three MPs and at least 12 others," the MPs said
They added that the government "targeted, arrested, tortured and imprisoned former parliamentarians and stripped of their citizenships. Many former MPs such as Sheikh Hassan Sultan, Jalal Fairooz, Jawad Fariooz were judicially prosecuted and stripped of their citizenships. Former MP Matar Matar was also arrested, held in solitary confinement and tortured in 2011 for criticizing human rights violations committed by the Bahraini authorities."
The forcibly exiled MPs stressed that "these violations increase fears that Bahrain remains very distant from implementing the standards and principles of democracy and equality promoted and defended by the Inter-Parliamentary Union."