European Parliament passes resolution blasting Bahrain for flagrant rights abuses

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of the European Parliament’s venue in Brussels

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly adopted a resolution, urging Bahrain to stop its blatant and deadly violations of the country’s human rights campaigners and prisoners of conscience.

The legislative body passed the resolution on Thursday, with 633 votes in favor, 11 against, and 45 abstentions.

It noted how the overall human rights situation “continues to worsen” in Bahrain since the kingdom came face to face with a popular uprising against its suppressive policies.

The MEPs lent special significance to the situation of death row inmates in the country and found serious fault with the mistrials that had led to their convictions.

They noted how Manama had lifted a de facto moratorium on the death penalty and kept railroading people into facing the punishment.

“Arbitrary arrests continue, the death penalty is still being applied, human rights defenders are prosecuted and harassed, and civil and political rights and freedoms of association, assembly, and expression continue to be denied,” the adopted resolution read.

“MEPs demand that all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in the country be immediately and unconditionally released,” it noted.

“The Bahraini government must stop harassing human rights defenders and immediately lift the travel ban on them.”

The uprising erupted in the Persian Gulf island in 2011 in protest at its drawn-out discriminatory policies against its Shia Muslim population. The ruling Al Khalifah regime came down hard on the peaceful rallies, killing scores of people and jailing hundreds others.

In its rush to muffle all dissenting voices, the island has also outlawed its main opposition Al Wefaq group, and stripped many of the country’s oppositionists of their citizenship.

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