Petition against Bahrain dictatorship’s oppression

This video is about Bahrain protests.

From Amnesty International:

24 March 2011

Bahrain: ensuring accountability for excessive force and protection for protesters

Amnesty International has documented how in February, security forces in Bahrain used excessive force against peaceful protesters without warning and impeded and assaulted medical staff trying to help the wounded.

The riot police used tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and shotguns to disperse the crowds, killing seven people between 14 and 21 February and injuring scores of other protesters. Among those injured were medical staff who were trying to help wounded protesters in or near the Pearl Roundabout after protestors who had set up camp there were forcibly dispersed by the security forces early on 17 February. Paramedics trying to assist injured people on the same morning were beaten and attacked by the riot police.

Bahrain experienced further violence in mid-March after Saudi Arabia sent in one thousand troops and UAE police arrived in the small Gulf state, apparently at the request of the Bahrain government. On 15 March Bahrain‘s King declared a national state of emergency of three months’ duration. On 15 and 16 March the riot police and army reportedly fired at protesters injuring many and killing several. During these two days the army and riot police blocked access to health centres and hospitals.

Since protests started on 14 February, at least 12 protesters have been killed and another four have been found dead after they went missing in circumstances that are as yet unclear. It has been reported also that three foreign migrant workers were killed, apparently by persons other than the security forces, and that at least three policemen officers also died in clashes with protesters. Hundreds others have been injured and access to hospitals and health centres has been blocked.

Following the attacks on 16 March, at least 10 opposition activists and six medical doctors were arrested. Two of the 15 detainees were released within hours of their arrest but the whereabouts of the 14 others are currently unknown. The Bahraini authorities have not said where they are being held or given them access to their families or lawyers, nor have they disclosed the legal basis for their arrest other than saying they are accused of calling for the downfall of the government, inciting violence and acting as agents of a foreign power – an implicit reference to Iran. These accusations are denied by the detainees’ families. At least eight of the opposition activists are reported to have been arrested by a joint force of Bahraini and Saudi Arabian security forces who did not produce arrest warrants. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience; four were only recently released after several months in detention during which some alleged that they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

Following the deaths of seven protestors in February, the King of Bahrain announced that an inquiry would be conducted by Deputy Prime Minister, Jawad al-‘Arayedh but, to date, the government has provided no further details about this inquiry. Clearly, it cannot be considered independent if it is being conducted by a senior government minister.

Amnesty International is calling on the King of Bahrain to establish an immediate full, thorough, transparent and independent commission of inquiry to investigate the use of lethal and other excessive force by the security forces against protesters, medical staff and others in both February and March, to make the results of the investigation public and to ensure that all those found responsible for unlawful killings, excessive force or other serious abuses are brought to justice.

Amnesty International is also urging the Bahraini authorities to immediately rein in their security forces, including support forces provided by Saudi Arabia and other states, in order to prevent any repetition of the killings and other abuses that have occurred so far; to respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, including the right to peaceful protest; and to release the political activists and medical practitioners who are currently being detained as prisoners of conscience.

His Majesty, Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa

Please sign the petition urging the King of Bahrain to:

* Set up immediately an independent commission of inquiry to conduct a full, thorough and transparent investigation into the killings and attacks on protesters and the assaults on health and medical workers, and make the results of the investigation public;

* Guarantee and uphold the right to peaceful protest and afford protection to peaceful protesters from excessive force by police or violence by others;

* Respect and protect the right to freedom of association and ensure that all human rights organizations and human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without political interference or hindrance;

* Ensure that excessive force is not again used against protesters in Bahrain

* Release immediately and unconditionally the opposition activists and medical practitioners detained in March who AI considers to be prisoners of conscience.

* Protect foreign migrant workers who may be at risk of attack

* Take Action

The petition can be signed here (scroll down).

Photo: Protesters in Bahrain participating in a candle-lit march in memory of protesters killed: here.

Bahrainis Mourn Woman Killed at Checkpoint: here.

4 thoughts on “Petition against Bahrain dictatorship’s oppression

  1. Yemen’s youth leaders set out their demands

    By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press Ahmed Al-haj, Associated Press – 31 mins ago

    SANAA, Yemen – The youth groups who began a monthlong uprising said Thursday that they wanted a new constitution and the dissolution of parliament, local councils and Yemen’s notorious security agencies in addition to the immediate ouster of the president.

    The widening demands appear to reflect the perception that President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime has been badly weakened by weeks of unrelenting protests, and the defection to the opposition of a string of powerful officials including members of the president’s inner circle.

    The organizers say they are hoping that several million people will turn out for Friday prayers in public squares and follow them with demonstrators against Saleh.

    The leaders of the “Civil Coalition for Peaceful Revolution” — an umbrella group for several pro-reform organizations — told a news conference they also wanted to limit future presidents to two, four-year terms in office, and the creation of an interim presidential council of nine civilians to run the country until legislative and presidential elections are held.

    The leader of Yemen’s largest tribe sided with Saleh’s opponents, calling on him to step down immediately and refrain from further violence against protesters.

    The decision by the widely respected Sheik Sinan Abu Lohoum, 80, was announced in a statement issued from the United States, where he is receiving medical treatment. It was read to protesters gathered at a central Sanaa square that has become the epicenter of the protests.

    Members of Abu Lohoum’s immediate family confirmed the authenticity of the statement.

    Abu Lohoum’s Baqeel tribe is the larger of two that follow the Zaidi offshoot of Shiite Islam. The other — Saleh’s own Hashid tribe — has already backed the opposition.

    Several senior military commanders, lawmakers, Cabinet ministers, diplomats and provincial governors have also defected to the opposition over the last week.

    “Those from the security and military institutions who have joined the youth revolution are most welcome,” said one of the youth leaders, Nizar al-Jeneid. “We call on others to follow their example,” he added before he warned that anyone among them found to have been corrupt should be held accountable.

    Saleh has repeatedly sought to appease the protesters, to no avail.

    Over the past month, he has offered not to run again when his current term ends in 2013, then offered this week to step down by the end of the year and open a dialogue with the leaders of the demonstrators.

    At the same time, he has stepped up the use of violence. His security forces shot dead more than 40 demonstrators in Sanaa on Friday, but the bloodshed only escalated the defections and hardened the protesters’ rejection of anything but his immediate departure.

    Yemen’s legislature granted Saleh’s request for a 30-day state of emergency on Wednesday in a vote the opposition called illegal.

    The state of emergency declaration appeared to signal that Saleh intends to dig in and try to crush his opponents. The decree allows media censorship, gives wide powers to censor mail, tap phone lines, search homes and arrest and detain suspects without judicial process.

    Opposition parties allied with the youth groups in the protests said Saleh in part wanted the state of emergency as a legal cover for further crackdowns on the protests. Opposition and independent legislators stayed away from Wednesday’s parliamentary session along with dozens of lawmakers from Saleh’s own ruling party.


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