Ali Alaswad, resigned Bahraini MP, told the BBC today that the international community is not doing enough and that Governments should clearly demand Bahrain to respect human rights. Alaswad accused international states of using “soft language” with Bahrain and acting one way with Syria and another with Bahrain.
Watch the full interview below, with transcript below that:
Bahrain has banned all protests and gatherings after clashes broke out between security forces and anti-Government demonstrators. It’s the most sweeping attempt to crackdown on protesters since emergency law was declared in March last year. The interior ministry says the move is necessary to preserve civil peace, let’s get more from Ali Alaswad, he’s elected to Bahrain’s Parliament in October 2010, representing Al Wefaq bloc, a Shi’ite group, but you resigned in February 2011, in response to the Governments’ crackdown on peaceful protesters. Thank you very much for joining me, what do you make of this? Is it a surprise?
I don’t think it’s a surprise, it’s Bahrain Governments’, they don’t have a solid solution to be on the table to discuss the political demands of the people there, so they go to move to a security solution, which will literally not help the Bahraini regime to find a political solution.
Because this is what its saying isn’t it, it’s decided to stop all gatherings and marches in order preserve national unity.
The preservation of national unity will be with the political solutions. People in Bahrain they are demanding an elected Government to change from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, this is the major demands. If we achieve this demand it means the whole thing in Bahrain will be settled. I mean, they will not stop the protesters, especially the youths in Bahrain, because of Minister of Interior or the authorities in Bahrain announce they are banning the protest, and this is not the first time by the way. They tried this many times and they failed. I mean with pressure from the international community, this is what we believe on, I’ve seen now…..
Is there enough? Do you believe there’s enough international pressure?
Absolutely no. It is always a soft language between the international community and the Bahrain Government. What they are doing now with the Syrian regime is completely different than what they are doing with the Bahrain regime. I mean we had only one Prime Minister since 1971, since the British left Bahrain and until now we didn’t have an elected Government. This is what we agreed in 2001 when we sign our national charter, we said we are going to change from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, which is people they should choose their Government. They should choose their MP’s freely. Social justice should be there, which is absolutely not.
Well as people protest and strive for social justice, we are hearing more reports from activists citing an increased use of shotgun pellets, we haven’t had a confirmation or denial form authorities, what are you hearing? What are the activists facing when they go out on the streets?
Always they are using more excessive force against the protesters in Bahrain. We have got more than 100 having been killed, the BICI recommendations was very clear, Bahrain Government should stop using excessive force. They detained the physicians, they detained the teachers in Bahrain, there was also some MP’s who were detained during the last year and they’ve been released later on but the Bahrain Governments always say the people on the streets are using violence. What kind of violence? There are no weapons in Bahrain, a part from Molotov cocktails, which we are condemning clearly people using Molotov cocktails on the streets but the international community they should make clear statements with the Bahrain Government, they should respect human rights, they always are breaking their promises. In Geneva with the UPR, they do agree with 90% of the recommendations, they said we are going to implement it. Nothing on the ground.