Human Rights Watch censures Bahrain for violent crackdown
Bahraini protesters on Wednesday staged new demonstrations against the Al Khalifa rule after leaders of two opposition parties attended a reconciliation meeting with the Manama regime.
The latest demonstration happened in north Sehla district, south of Manama, in an apparent protest against the negotiation, which is reportedly aimed to put an end to the political crisis in the Persian Gulf Sheikhdom, local sources told Press TV on Wednesday.
Leaders from only two of the opposition groups, al-Wefaq and al-Waad participated in the so-called national dialogue despite a boycott of the meeting by other opposition groups, including Haq Movement and Bahrain Free Movement.
An opposition figure who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that another session of the negotiations was held behind closed doors in Manama’s convention center on Tuesday. The ‘reconciliation talks’ were inaugurated earlier on Saturday.
However, the opposition unanimously says no dialogue can solve the situation in Bahrain until people are able to elect their government and see an end to, what they call, the systematic discrimination against the Bahraini majority.
The opposition leaders argue that Bahraini authorities must end the protest-linked “show trials” and release the detainees before a serious dialogue can begin.
Meanwhile, earlier on Monday, angry protesters convened in the capital, chanting “”No dialogue”” as similar demonstrations were held in the city of Sitra, east of the country.
The talks come after Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa called for a national dialogue on reform and announced an investigation into the handling of the uprising by Saudi-backed regime forces.
Scores of protesters have been killed — several under torture — and many others detained and transferred to unknown locations during the regime’s crackdown on protesters.
According to Bahrain Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization, there are currently over 1,000 political detainees, including medical staff, inside the country.
HRW censures Bahraini rulers
Human Rights Watch on Wednesday accused Bahrain of carrying out a “campaign of violent oppression” against its citizens and called for an end to abuses.
Pro-reform protesters took to the streets of Bahrain on February 14, but security forces crushed the demonstrations a month later in a bloody crackdown followed by sweeping arrests.
The authorities said 24 were killed in the unrest.
“The Bahrain government, since March 2011, has been carrying out a punitive and vindictive campaign of violent repression against its own citizens,” HRW said in statement.
“Bahrain has brutally punished those protesting peacefully for greater freedom and accountability while the U.S. and other allies looked the other way,” HRW’s deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, was quoted as saying.
HRW called on “the Bahrain government to end unlawful and incommunicado detention, to free protesters unless legitimate criminal charges can be brought against them, and to allow monitoring by independent human rights organizations.”
The New York-based rights watchdog said it has been prevented from working in Bahrain since April.
(Source: Press TV)