Resigned Bahraini MP, Ali Alaswad, calls for the international community to pressure Bahrain Authorities to start a serious and meaningful process of reform.
Read his statement below:
As we approach the anniversary of the beginning of this latest movement in the struggle for democracy in Bahrain, we can see two things: A Government that refuses to offer anything and a people that will continue demanding until their rights have been met.
It is an international tragedy that, despite a year of continuous protest of hundreds of thousands of people, Bahrain has made no progression towards democracy. The only change in the country has been increased violence and a crackdown of the most brutal kind.
The longer this situation is prolonged the more dangerous it becomes. The shocking images of the past year leave the people more and more desperate and feeling they have little to lose, whilst the Government meets every protest with tear gas, rubber bullets, arrests and torture.
There needs to be a resolution to this crisis and it needs to happen sooner rather than later. Without immediate reform the future of Bahrain will be stained with yet more blood.
We have a great fear that the protests that will greet this anniversary will be met with the harshness that has characterised the behaviour of Bahrain’s security forces over the past year.
The only credible way forward is with a genuine and meaningful dialogue that addresses the real concerns of the people. Thus far we have seen The Government talk about minor changes to minor internal institutions.
What Bahrain needs to discuss is how we can move to an elected Government, how we can have a Government that reflects the will of the people and ultimately how we can create a democratic system that all Bahrainis can be proud of.
As the opposition we stand ready and waiting to have this discussion but there has been not even one suggestion from The Authorities that this will happen anytime soon.
This is why the international community has such an important role to play. Governments like the United States and United Kingdom have a huge amount of leverage over Bahrain and it’s time for them to make use of this. We call on those Governments to stand with those in Bahrain who want democracy, not dictatorship and to pursue a democratic outcome from this crisis.