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Bahrain tightening noose on dissidents: Rights group

13 March 2016 10:09



A Bahraini rights group says the ruling Al Khalifah regime has resorted to repressive measures, including torture, against political dissidents as it continues its crackdown on activists in the kingdom.

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, in a report released on Saturday, documented the gross human rights violations committed against the nation between March 3 and March 11.

The report disclosed that Bahraini regime forces had placed 13 people under arbitrary arrest during the mentioned period, and nine cases of torture were also recorded.

Moreover, Bahraini authorities handed down jail terms amounting to 105 years to five activists for their participation in anti-regime protest rallies.

The report comes as Amnesty International has criticized the Manama regime for keeping political activist, Fadhel Abbas, behind bars and adjourning his appeal hearing for a third time to April 25.

A Bahraini protester holds a banner as he participates in a rally after Friday prayers in the village of Diraz, west of the capital, Manama, on March 11, 2016. ©Reuters

The Britain-based rights organization also called on Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Abbas, and reverse his conviction, saying he is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Amnesty also urged Bahraini judicial officials to honor their obligations under international law and repeal rules that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the right to free speech.

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on an almost daily basis in Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.

In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protests.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on the anti-regime rallies.

Amnesty and many other international rights bodies have repeatedly censured the Bahraini regime over the “rampant” human rights abuses against opposition activists and anti-regime protesters.

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