Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has responded to the Bahraini regime’s recent criticism of his latest remarks, where he had censured the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty over crackdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.
“We did not demand interference in the affairs of Bahrain or any other country, as the others interfere in our affairs. We did not allow violence and we do not encourage anyone to do so,” Maliki, who now heads the State of Law Coalition in the Iraqi parliament, wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Wednesday.
He then called for “dialogue and rejection of marginalization and the exercise of political tyranny.”
Maliki also stressed “respect for people and their right to freedom and the use of constitutional mechanisms and democracy in dealing with crises.”
On Monday, Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d’affaires of the Iraqi embassy to condemn Maliki’s comments regarding the Manama regime’s crackdown on dissent.
The ministry described the remarks as “blatant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain.”
“(A Bahraini official) described Maliki’s attitude as a clear solidarity with those who seek to spread chaos, violence and terrorism and exhibit hatred,” Bahrain’s state-run news agency BNA reported.
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summons Iraq’s deputy charge d’affaires to protest Nouri Maliki’s criticism of crackdown on the opposition.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.