Ali Al-Aswad in front of European Parliament: Gov’t Silence Ramped up Violations in Bahrain

2019-02-20 - 12:49 ص

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Sub-Committee on Human Rights in the European Parliament held a symposium to exchange views on Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula, in which Al-Wefaq former MP Ali Al-Aswad took part, alongside fiancé of Jamal Kashoggi, who was killed in October 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

During his speech in front of attendees in the European Parliament, Ali Al-Aswad said that the only thing that has changed since 2011 is the increasing level of repression to crush democratic demands, indicating that the King accepted BICI findings, but didn't implement change.

He added that detainees in Bahrain's prisons are still being tortured. Civilians are still tried in military courts and sentenced to death and the numbers of political prisoners has increased. The media remains a mouthpiece of the ruling family as Protesters face toxic blankets of tear gas. Besides, none of those the BICI called to be released have been and instead many more names have been added to those behind bars. 

"The BICI recommendations have not only failed to be implemented but are being regularly violated, and new forms of cruel repression have been added. Hundreds of Bahraini people have had their citizenship stripped from them in the past few years. The recommendations BICI made are a distant memory, completely undermined by the continued actions of a state that simply refuses to talk," Al-Aswad noted.

He also talked about Sheikh Ali Salman's life term over colluding with Qatar charges as well as outlawing Al-Wefaq.

The former MP said that the opposition's vision is a democratic and inclusive political system, and society, with a monarchy that is separated from politics and where the people are the source of authority. "Real dialogue and negotiations between the authorities and the opposition must move Bahrain out of this crisis," he continued.

Governments like Britain and America have failed to properly hold Bahrain accountable and have been silent when leaders were arrested, giving a green light to continue and indeed ramp up violations against Bahraini citizens.

He further stated "Bahrain cares what its allies think - and does not exist in isolation. Should the European Parliament question the actions of the Bahraini authorities, they would take notice. We need allies to come forward and support the vision of a democratic future for Bahrain.

"Bahrainis don't want Bahrain to become a failed state. We want an independent and successful Bahrain that works for everyone, a strong global trading partner that rejects extremism and sectarianism.

"To this end Bahrain can be a success story of the Arab Spring. In an unstable and dangerous region, it can be a bastion of peaceful coexistence, respect and unity, but we need Europe's support," he added.

Al-Aswad concluded saying "with your support I am hopeful that the Bahrain my children will one day see will make us all proud."

Arabic Version