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    Posted July 19, 2014 by
    London, United Kingdom

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    Bahrain: Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

    As the world focuses on the ever deteriorating situation in Egypt, Ukraine, Iraq and the flagrant human rights abuses occurring on a daily basis in Syria. Bahrain can often be forgotten.

    However, the position in the country cannot be ignored, nor can the lack of respect for either the citizens of the country or those members of the international community who seek to assist.

    Instances of arbitrary arrest and detention, disappearance, and violence by the security services in Bahrain are well documented, as is the crackdown on Human Rights activists, opposition figures and any form of peaceful demonstration.

    Since early 2011, as part of an ongoing crackdown on anti-government and pro-democracy protests, the Bahraini government has engaged in a campaign to target the legitimate work of human rights defenders. Three years on, the government continues to suppress peaceful protests, harass and prosecute human rights defenders, and arbitrarily arrest and detain numerous opposition leaders and protesters for demanding respect for their fundamental human rights.

    The Government repeatedly calls for dialogue with the opposition for open discussion. However, nothing of substance has materialised.

    The position has however become even more extreme. The Bahrain government has deemed the US Department of State’s Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Mr Tom Malinowski, unwelcome in the country. They have claimed that he “intervened in the country’s interior affairs by holding meetings with certain parties over others which shows sectarianism among the peoples of this country”.

    It is unthinkable that a country should seek to bar a foreign diplomat purely on the basis of those he has spoken to and attempted to engage in meaningful dialogue.

    Bahrain needs to address its troubled past. Those responsible must be brought to justice through a credible and transparent process. The international community must support proper democratic reforms and assist in the establishment of long term transitional justice strategy.

    It is clear that the position in Bahrain can no longer be ignored, and that further diplomatic intervention on the need for political and human rights reforms is now more needed than ever.

    The flagrant denial of justice for the thousands of political prisoners, the human rights abuses, and the oppression of citizens can no longer be tolerated. The international community must act.
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