UN chief criticizes Bahrain for protest restrictions
Fri Nov 2, 2012 12:16AM
The secretary general believes these restrictions could aggravate the situation in the country and urges the government of Bahrain to lift them without delay." UN spokesman Martin NesirkyUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has criticized Bahrain for imposing restrictions on protests and public gatherings. On Thursday, Ban expressed “his concern about the restrictions” declared by the Bahraini government on Tuesday, his spokesman Martin Nesirky quoted the secretary general as saying, AFP reported.
Ban called on Bahrain to “abide fully by international human rights standards, including respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association.”The UN chief warned that the ban on protests would “aggravate” unrest in Bahrain. “The secretary general believes these restrictions could aggravate the situation in the country and urges the government of Bahrain to lift them without delay,” Nesirky said. On Wednesday, Amnesty International censured the Bahraini regime for its decision to ban all demonstrations and public gatherings across the country. The London-based organization said that “law enforcement officials must act to protect peaceful protesters” and that the “authorities cannot simply declare a blanket prohibition on all protests.” Bahraini Interior Ministry said in a statement issued on October 30 that it would ban all protests and gatherings, describing anti-regime demonstrations as “repeated abuse” of freedom of speech. The Bahraini revolution began in mid-February 2011, when the people started holding massive demonstrations. The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring Persian Gulf states. Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries. The protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. KA/MHB