Saturday, November 5, 2011

Response to European Parliament Resolution on Bahrain

This post is in response to the resolution issued by the European Parliament against Bahrain on October 27, 2011. Please click here for the original resolution.

The Bahraini government has tolerated month long protests and marches that have not complied with the laws of the country nor were they aligned with the international human rights standards in which some individuals of the opposition claim membership.  These marches involved hindering traffic denying people the right to access, engaging children in protests during school hours as well as a teachers' boycott which denied children the right to education, attempts to scare away investment by engaging directly with international businesses and foreign entities, campaigning to cause damage to the national economy by scaring away visitors to exhibitions and events and worst of all violence against security forces and civilians all over Bahrain leading to serious injuries and some fatalities.
Read more: Abusing Human Rights in Bahrain by Brave-Bahrain.
As a result of the dissidence the government had to take strict measures to ensure that perpetrators of such actions are brought to justice especially after confidence in the legal system has declined considerably in the eyes of the rest if the citizens of Bahrain.  The government was forced to investigate anyone and everyone who participated in the unrest in order to find the main perpetrators and lay down the hand of the law.  Many of the groups cited in this resolution have long been eliminated from the list of suspects and subsequently released and those who remain are people who have strong evidence against them for major crimes and are awaiting their trials. Many people have been exonerated through fair legal proceedings and others have been released and are awaiting their court dates.  Rest assured that those who have not yet been released are held based on strong evidence and eye witness accounts. 
Calling the demonstrators "peaceful" is a misnomer that Bahrain has tolerated long enough.  Ample footage has shown premeditation and intent in the most disturbing manner in their hate crimes against expatriates and naturalized citizens.  Their crimes continue until this day spilling oil on highways which have caused serious accidents, barricading roads with metal and blocks and even stretching chains across highways close to these oil spills to cause major damage to speeding vehicles.
With regards to the alleged repression by security forces it is imperative that observers understand that no legal marches have faced interference from the authorities so long as they complied with the law and maintained order.   However, on many occasions these protests have violated the penal code pertaining to unauthorized gatherings and gatherings with the intent of violence.
Please refer to the Penal Code on the ministry of justice website. 
Orders to cease these gatherings have ended in protesters hurling rocks, molotovs and/or paint bottles at security vehicles which forced the police to make arrests.  These arrests have in turn faced resistance and ended up in force.
Doctors, teachers and others who got arrested had ample evidence from videos to pictures to eye witnesses and most on charges of inciting hatred to the ruling family, deliberately using media to damage the reputation of the country and encouraging violence as you will read in the penal code.  Here we emphasize unequivocally that THERE ARE NO POLITICAL PRISONERS IN BAHRAIN.
When the government lays down the hand of the law as the ultimate authority to protect the peace and stability of its land and the security of its people in a much more lenient way than Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States where dogs and batons were used and hundreds of arrests were made it is hardly justified to "condemn" such actions when you are guilty of them yourself.
It is of utmost importance to note that the authorities did not resort to such measures before exhausting all other avenues.  The government of Bahrain has proactively and repeatedly requested for dialogue with the opposition parties starting from the Crown Prince's sudden appearance on national television calling for calm and dialogue and ending in the Bahrain National Dialogue which Al Wefaq opposition party has deserted after the second round and discounted as fake.  Prisoners held for political reasons in the past have been released in an effort to meet one of the opposition's main demands and the releases continued even during the crisis when criminals were allowed to await their sentences at home despite the severity of their crimes. People who have been terminated from their jobs are being reinstated as we speak and the doctors are being given civil trials to ensure fair due process and have now had all major charges dropped reducing their offences to misdemeanors even though we have seen them on pictures and videos leading marches calling for the fall of the regime and allowing chaos to befall our largest hospital complex. In a bigger step towards ensuring human rights are preserved and compensation given to those violated, the King has deployed the Bahrain Independent Commission for Investigation to launch a widespread investigation of alleged violations during the unrest and their report is due to be released on 23 November.
In closing we, the people of Bahrain, are of the conviction that this resolution has been biased, built on misinformation and has not considered the achievements that have been made thus far by the government.  It has completely ignored a large portion of Bahrain which has gathered to prove its existence but more importantly its denial of the atrocities that have befallen this island and its insistence on reform as an the political solution to the discourse in Bahrain instead of a complete system change.
Furthermore, we are indeed outraged at the harshness of the statements on Bahrain while you have been extremely lenient on the Syrian regime which has claimed the lives of dozens each day and committed atrocities that have been seen and reported by the world; Syria which has defied every call to stop the violence and has threatened the region with war in case of external interference; Syria which stepped all over every human rights law that has ever existed…
Further to this statement, we the people of Bahrain demand the European Parliament to
  • Revisit information gathering channels as they are obviously flawed and one-sided
  • Study the situation in greater depth and understand its dimensions
  • Acknowledge the positive moves made by the Bahraini government and the measures it has taken to ensure that all that have been wronged are compensated
  • Acknowledge approximately half the population of Bahrain who disapprove this so-called revolution and instead call for reform through civilized dialogue
  • Issue a statement against the violence and vandalism incited by the main opposition bloc in Bahrain (Al Wefaq Society)
  • Issue a correction to the resolution on Human Rights in Bahrain of 27th October 2011 bearing in mind all of the above.

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