Three years ago today more than 200,000 people took to the streets in Bahrain to protest structural inequalities, corruption, oppression, and a lack of government representation. On the third anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls on the United States Government and the international community to increase pressure on the Government of Bahrain to adhere to its international human rights commitments and implement meaningful reform.
“Rather than see the Bahrain government move toward reform in the three years since the 14 February 2011 mass protests, we have seen nothing but stagnation and regression. It is clear that the response by the United States and the international community to the human rights situation and political crisis in the country has not been sufficient or led to positive change on the ground,” said ADHRB Executive Director Husain Abdulla. “Human rights defenders such as Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja remain in prison, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances continue unabated, and the culture of impunity remains.”
The concerns raised by protesters in Bahrain three years ago have not yet been addressed, and government policies that inflame sectarian divisions and unrest appear to be more entrenched than ever. This includes a lack of equal access to economic opportunity or social services, adequate and equal representation in government, a lack of due process rights, and a justice system that operates far below international standards. Further restrictions on freedom of expression and association have been implemented, including a recent law that criminalizes criticizing the King and carries with it a penalty of up to 7 years in jail. Since protests began in February 2011, more than 3,000 political prisoners are in jail and Bahrainis continue to be subjected to enforced disappearances and even death at the hands of their government.
“As Bahrain enters another year facing more unrest than the last, there are steps that the United States and the international community can take right now to improve the situation on the ground. This includes calling on the Government of Bahrain to unconditionally release all political prisoners and ensure accountability for torture and other human rights abuses,” said Abdulla. “The United States and Bahrain are important strategic allies and are mutually interested in maintaining the presence of the United States Naval Fifth Fleet in the country. Yet without positive change, the country could further destabilize and adversely affect long-term regional stability.”
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الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي