26 November 2018 – On Saturday 24 November, as the Government of Bahrain held the elections for the Consultative Council, its 40-seat lower house of parliament, the spokesman for foreign affairs of Germany’s Green Party, Omid Nouripour, issued a statement condemning the elections as unfree and unfair. In his statement, Mr. Nouripour goes on to say that;

“Today’s elections in Bahrain are a farce, and the government and the judiciary have dissolved almost all opposition groups, and members of these groups were no longer eligible to vote, and the next parliament will be no more than an alibi gathering, an embellishment of a repressive, authoritarian system.

The royal house exerts pressure on the parliamentary elections. Numerous members of the opposition have been sentenced to lengthy prison sentences, including activist Nabeel Rajab, for criticizing the government on social media alone.

The international community must finally find clear words in the face of these conditions. Especially since the US administration under Donald Trump encourages the authoritarian features of the Bahraini royal house. But European countries continue to deliver weapons to Bahrain. Within the European Union, the federal government must stand up for a clear attitude towards repression in Bahrain and a European arms export ban.”

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomes this statement by the German Green Party and the recognition that Bahrain’s elections were fundamentally unfree and unfair. We agree with Mr. Nouripour’s assessment that the United States currently plays a negative role in promoting democratic principles and fundamental human rights in Bahrain and in the broader Arab Gulf region. We also agree that continued support by European states, including arms sales, emboldens Bahrain’s government to take increasingly repressive measures against critics, dissidents, members of political opposition societies, and human rights defenders and activists.

We thank Mr. Nouripour for his statement and we concur that Bahrain’s elections were farcical,” says Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB. “We call upon Bahrain to take concrete measures to demonstrate that it remains committed to the rule of law, international principles of human rights, and fundamental freedoms by releasing political prisoners, vacating the results of these elections, and holding new elections with independent, international observers and with all opposition political societies and their leaders and members re-instated with their right to seek elected office.”

 

Read the statement in German here.