Bahrain: NPWJ and the NRPTT condemn arrest of prominent opposition leader Khalil Al Marzooq and call for his immediate release

17 Sep, 2013 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome – New York, 17 September 2013

Khalil Al Marzooq, Political Assistant to Al Wefaq’s Secretary-General and former member of the Bahraini Council of Representatives, was detained this morning after being summoned to Budaiya Police Station yesterday. He was transferred in a police vehicle and in police custody to the Civil Prosecution Centre for interrogation.
The summons is believed to relate to a speech given by Mr Al Marzooq on 7 September during an opposition rally. Authorities appear to have used the speech as a pretext to accuse Mr Al Marzooq of supporting terrorist activities, violence and the downfall of the regime. Despite a number of threats, he is the first leading figure from Al Wefaq to be arrested since the emergency law crackdown of March 2011.

Statement by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) firmly condemn the arrest and detention of Bahraini political leader Khalil Almarzooq and call upon the Bahraini authorities to ensure his prompt and unconditional release.

“The detention of a leading figure of the main opposition party, who has consistently condemned all forms of violence, is clearly an escalation in the repressive and retaliatory practices carried out by the Bahraini authorities against those who are engaged in political action to advocate peacefully for democratic reforms.  These latest actions blatantly demonstrate a lack of credibility in terms of their commitment to the ongoing National Consensus Dialogue, in which Al Wefaq is engaged as part of the political opposition in the country. We sincerely hope these actions are a mistake, since they otherwise further hamper the possibility of any meaningful change for the country’s political future, in both the short- and long-term.

“NPWJ and the NRPTT stand in solidarity with Khalil Al Marzooq, who has dedicated his life to the promotion of democratic values, to nonviolence and to the respect of human rights in his country.  Bahrain must release Mr Al Marzooq and all other political prisoners whose only “crime” has been to speak out in favour of reform, in favour of human rights and in favour of bringing meaningful democracy to Bahrain.

“We call on the international community to carry out all necessary measures to ensure his safe and immediate release.  We also urge the international community to take immediate concrete steps to halt the deteriorating situation and to make Bahrain accountable and to abide by international human rights laws and norms. Today, it is even more urgent for the international community to abide by its duty and responsibility to protect those who are threatened for advocating openly for the end of the longstanding culture of impunity that remains intact in Bahrain to this day”.

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For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915. Check also the special section on NPWJ Bahrain Project

Previous press releases on Bahrain: