Amnesty International calls on Bahrain to uphold citizens’ rights
Amnesty International has called on Bahraini officials to observe the citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly ahead of the fourth anniversary of the revolution in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
“The Bahraini authorities must uphold the rights to freedom of peaceful expression and assembly and rein in security forces as thousands of protesters are taking to the streets ahead of the fourth anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain,” the rights group said in a statement released on Friday.
The statement came after Bahrain’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said on February 12 that the ministry will suppress protests ahead of the revolution anniversary on February 14.
“Four years after the uprising, fundamental freedoms have increasingly been curtailed with the authorities banning protests and assemblies, restricting the activities of civil and political associations and stifling the right to peaceful freedom of expression,” the statement noted.
Amnesty also slammed Bahraini authorities for the arrest of a number of opposition figures and activists, including al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman and prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.