Bahrain: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome European Parliament strong stance against ongoing repression and restrictions of fundamental democratic rights

8 Jul, 2016 | Press Releases

Brussels, 8 July 2016

Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted, with a large majority, an urgency resolution condemning the recent human rights abuses performed by Bahraini authorities, and strongly called for an end to the escalating crackdown against the country’s human rights defenders, political opposition and civil society.
Statement by Niccolo’ Figa Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), welcome the adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution condemning in the strongest terms the ongoing campaign of repression and persecution against human rights defendersleaders of the political opposition and civil society activists, as well as the restriction of fundamental democratic rights in Bahrain.

“We fully support and underscore the resolution’s explicit recognition that long-term political stability and social unity in Bahrain can only be ensured by building a truly pluralistic society that is respectful of diversity, the Rule of law and democratic values. If the Government is sincerely committed to recognising the legitimate demands of the Bahraini people for democratic participation, it should first and foremost respect and protect rather than deny fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression, association and assembly.

“As called for by the resolution, Bahraini authorities should ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Nabeel Rajab and other imprisoned human rights defenders, whose only “crime” is to advocate openly and peacefully for meaningful democratic reforms and the respect of human rights in Bahrain. The same apply to the head of the Al-Wefaq opposition group Sheikh Ali Salman, whose prison sentence was shockingly increased from 4 to 9 years in May. Furthermore, the alarming decision by the Bahraini authorities to suspend Al-Wefaq, as well as the misuse of anti-terrorism laws and, especially, the unfair revocation of nationality as a means of political pressure and punishment, can only further increase political turmoil and fuel social unrest.

“We look forward the EU and its Member states to follow the European Parliament in raising unequivocally the same concerns and in urging the Bahraini regime to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws, both on a bilateral level and using multilateral platforms such as the forthcoming EU-Gulf Cooperation Council ministerial meeting scheduled on 18-19 July 2016”.

“A truly democratic transition in Bahrain will be achieved only if all those who are committed to peaceful and nonviolent dialogue are able to contribute fully to the political process without fear of reprisals. The international community must support this process rather than turning a blind eye to what is rapidly becoming the realisation of the worst possible scenario for Bahrain: the establishment of a state of tyranny and repression where civil and political rights of the majority of Bahraini citizens are negated”.