Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, says the Arab nation is demanding an end to tyranny and a peaceful transition to democracy in the Persian Gulf kingdom, as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its crackdown on dissent.
Al-Wefaq, in a statement released on Tuesday, said Bahrainis are calling for fundamental democratic reforms and genuine legislative participation, and they will not be fooled by hollow promises and publicity stunts.
“The people of Bahrain have long demanded a political transition to a real democratic state based on people’s will and rule besides the establishment of a state of institutions and law. These are legitimate, popular, humanitarian and legal demands approved by all international and humanitarian values and conventions as well as the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the statement read.
The opposition party added, “The Bahraini nation is demanding natural and inalienable rights which most peoples of the world enjoy. These are among the basic principles for building societies and states, and not luxuries or exclusive privileges.”
Al-Wefaq emphasized that all strata of the Bahraini society reject injustice, tyranny, authoritarianism, monopoly, corruption and ruling with an iron fist.
It said the use of excessive force and sheer brutality are indicative of the ruling Al Khalifah regime’s nature. Wisdom and thoughtfulness do not go hand in hand with rampant corruption, and only the beneficiaries support the current situation.
“The Bahraini regime’s stubborn insistence on obstructing peaceful transition and genuine political reforms reflects a weak and illegitimate ruling mentality. The status quo is not only a war against our countrymen and women, but also against our homeland and its future.
“It is also an attempt [by the Al Khalifah regime] to forge ahead with its theft, looting, expropriation of national assets, monopolization and worst illegal methods and policies in order to justify its escape from realizing public aspirations,” al-Wefaq said.
“Accusing people of disloyalty to their homeland is utterly ridiculous and confirms Bahrain's need for rational governance instead of the current hateful sectarianism. Blasphemy and contempt can never build a strong homeland,” the statement also read.
Al-Wefaq pointed out that “the [Bahraini] opposition is open to whatever measure that would best serve the interests of the country. It looks forward to a stable future, where rights and security of all are realized and people are equal under the umbrella of democracy.”
On April 19, Bahrain’s most prominent cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim said drawing up a new constitution was the only way out of the political crisis in the protest-hit tiny kingdom, urging the regime in Manama to pursue an agreement with the Bahraini opposition instead of increasingly suppressing dissent.
Demonstrations in Bahrain have been held on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011.
The participants demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to the imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
King Hamad ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.