Silver Lining

Food for thought

Wide criticism against Bahrain regime violations, irresponsibility

Al Manar

Authorities in Bahrain have voiced “dismay” over an assessment by the US State Department of the rights situation in the kingdom.

“The report includes texts which are totally far from the truth, adopting a manner that fuels terror and terrorists targeting Bahrain’s national security,” state news agency BNA late on Wednesday quoted government spokeswoman Samira Rajab as saying.

A US State Department report released on April 19 said that “the most serious human rights problems included citizens’ inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention.”

It criticised the “lack of due process in trials of political and human rights activists, medical personnel, teachers, and students, with some resulting in harsh sentences.” The report said that “discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, nationality, and sect persisted, especially against the Shiite population.”

Rajab “deplored the report for lacking objectivity, totally siding with the terrorists who seek to sow chaos in the whole region.”

In the same context, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture said he is “deeply disappointed” that the Manama regime has practically “canceled” his planned visit to Bahrain.

On Wednesday, Juan Mendez said the Bahraini regime was trying to “avoid responsibility” for the torture of demonstrators by deciding to indefinitely postpone his visit, which had been planned for May.

Bahrain claims it has postponed the visit due to ‘delays in ongoing national dialogue.’ However, the UN expert said that the move by the Bahraini regime on Tuesday was “effectively a cancelation” rather than a postponement.

“This was a unilateral decision by the authorities. Unfortunately, it is not the first time the government has tried to avoid responsibility for the postponement of my visit, which was originally supposed to take place over a year ago,” Mendez stated.

Also on Wednesday, Amnesty International slammed Bahrain’s move and said the Manama regime was clearly “not serious” about implementing human rights reforms.

Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have raided houses in the capital Manama with tear gas.

Dozens of peaceful protesters have been killed in the regime crackdown since the crisis began two years ago, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses.

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