BHRM Condemns Violence and
Calls for Respect for human rights

The Bahrain Human Rights Monitor (BHRM) condemned the unjustified violence that occurred on 15 August 2010, which included arson, assault on public property and blocking the streets with burning tires, throwing Molotov cocktails at policemen, and endangering the lives of civilians. At the same time, the BHRM calls upon the Government to respect human rights, and abide by the Constitution and all international conventions, which the Government has pledged to implement, especially with regard to freedom of expression, arbitrary arrest and detention, and fair trial guarantees at all stages, from the stage of arrest and until the later stages of appeal.

The acts of violence and vandalism have been going on for several months in several areas in the provinces of Bahrain and they are likely to continue by reason of the arrest of seven people for allegedly inciting violence and encouraging youth groups and minors to resort to sabotage. According to security authorities, the arrested persons belong to an organized network designed to damage national security and that could undermine the stability of the country.

President of the BHRM, Hasan Moosa Shafaei said: “Violence and freedom do not meet. It is strange enough that some people have used violence at a time a climate of freedom is available in Bahrain. Violence does not serve the cause of democratization, human rights and the upcoming elections in next October”. He went on to say: “All should respect different opinions and the right of peaceful expression. Those who don’t accept this, they put human rights in a difficult position, undermine human rights achievements and block the progress of human rights and democracy.”

The BHRM urged everyone to calm down and, further, to find practical solutions to help the peaceful expression of different views and not turn them to an instrument of violence, warning of widening the circle of violence and counter-violence at this critical time where Bahrain is about to conduct municipal and legislative elections. BHRM also called on security agencies not to use the events, whatever their size, to undermine human rights. In this regard, BHRM called the security authorities to bring charges against those arrested and refer them to the court for fair trials or release them immediately.