Jailing of Nabeel Rajab proves the double standards of the regime and it’s continuous prevention of freedom of expression
The opposition parties: The decision to dissolve Amal society is a deliberate attack on political activity in Bahrain
The Bahraini opposition parties consider the decision by the Administrative Court on Monday 9th July, to ban opposition party Amal, to be a politicised and irrational action that is an attack on political activity in Bahrain. The decision shows no willingness by the regime to find a political solution to the crisis, but instead intends to take the country towards increased volatility.
The opposition parties stressed that Bahrain is currently under an unannounced martial law with the regime escalating its crackdown. This is manifested in an increase in attempts to prevent freedom of expression, a higher level of repression, arrests and house raids. This is happening in parallel to ongoing unfair trials against citizens for simply expressing their opinion freely.
The opposition parties expressed their solidarity with Amal and consider it’s banning as a clear signal from the regime to the international community that they will use every procedure to repress freedom of expression and assembly. The authorities intend to attack the formation of political parties, as was particularly evident with the attempted assassination of a number of political leaders on 22nd June.
The opposition parties added, “We will not call this is a black day for justice in Bahrain, because there is no justice in Bahrain”, confirming the reports of Human Rights Watch and other international NGO’s. A main demand that took people to the streets was for a fair and independent judicial system that guarantees justice for all citizens and is separate from other powers, and the people continue to call for this today.
They also stressed that injustice in Bahrain has degenerated so badly that even the strongest PR companies cannot justify it. The regime has been hiring those PR companies at a huge expense to the people’s money, forcing them to take loans and sell their assets in order to pay for them. The regime is doing all of this to prevent the people’s fair demands of freedom, dignity and transition towards democracy.
The opposition parties added that the dissolving of a prominent society such as Amal is a deadly attack on political activity in Bahrain. Although the regime claims to support political freedom, it has been practicing a most brutal repression against freedoms and human rights for more than 16 months and continues to answer the people’s peaceful and legitimate demands with violence.
They also stressed that the decision to dissolve Amal society is without doubt a political decision to repress freedom of expression as opposed to a purely bureaucratic decision as they claimed. It is violation of the Societies Law and can be seen as the fastest decision made against an active political society in the history of the Bahraini judicial system.
They wanted to confirm that the societies headquarters are open to all political activists, including members of Amal.
The opposition stated that the case was adjourned until the end of the judicial holidays, but was looked into urgently to have the affect of immediately dissolving the society.
The opposition parties note with sorrow that the international humanitarian organisations can no longer have trust in the Bahraini judiciary. The BICI clearly revealed the complicity of the judiciary in human rights violations by saying, “the judiciary is the tool by which the regime has punished the opposition and repressed the freedom of expression, and this institution is providing impunity to all criminals and those who are accountable for the violations.”
By dissolving Amal Society, the regime can no longer justify its lies about implementation of the BICI. The judiciary convicts the opposition on a daily basis, whilst refusing to investigate complaints against the regime. This proves the politicisation of the judiciary, for example when the opposition filed a case against the regime for the use of tear gas but the court decided it was “non-specialist” in such a case.
“In fact the verdict to dissolve Amal Society comes as no real surprise when seen in the context of the continuous violations against human rights in Bahrain. It is the same regime, who arbitrarily arrested pro-democracy protesters and sentenced them for 45 days of imprisonment after cruelly raiding their homes, or who committed the deliberate killings for all our martyrs including Isa Abdulhasan, Ali Al Momen and Hani Abdulazeez whilst the killer, the torturer is left free with an arrogant impunity. This clear contradiction makes it difficult for the people to keep trusting the judicial authority”.
In a separate case the opposition societies wholly condemn the 3-month verdict given against Mr. Nabeel Rajab, the prominent Human Rights Defender and
President of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. He was arrested for his pro-democracy critiques of the authorities on twitter and brutally taken from his home to begin the unjust sentence that violates the rights of free speech and free expression.
The arrest of HRD Nabeel Rajab is another proof of the policy of double standards adopted by this regime. The accusations against him are clearly created to stop him practicing his right to freely express his opinion.
The opposition societies stressed that these verdicts are living examples of the political persecution, which was mentioned by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. These verdicts reflect the decisions taken by the regime to take revenge against its opponents and punish them for calling for democracy.
Human Rights’ Defenders, political activists, medics, academics and all other sectors of Bahraini society have been targeted by the regime. Detention centres are still full of hundreds of political prisoners in an attempt to silence the pro-democracy voice. All such tyrannical attempts at silencing the people have failed and will continue to fail. The people have already decided not to turn back and there will be no retreat on the legitimate demands and the transition to democracy.