Bahrain Opposition Condemns Police and Civilian Killings

A prominent Bahraini opposition party, the Wefaq National Islamist Society, spoke out against the slaying of a police officer along with the deaths of four civilians in the restive village of Al-Eker. The clashes started Sunday and continued through the week. Wefaq has reiterated its commitment to non-violence, and called for a neutral investigation as unrest.

al-monitor Human rights activist Zaynab al-Khawaja shouts anti-government slogans after being detained during her march towards al-Eker village. Seven Bahrainis have been detained over clashes that killed a policeman, four civilians died. Photo by REUTERS/Stringer.

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bahraini uprising, bahraini opposition, bahrain, al wefaq national islamic society

Oct 25, 2012

The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society has condemned the police crackdown on the area around the village of Al-Eker along with the collective punishment that was inflicted on the people before and after the incident.

This condemnation is consistent with Wefaq’s long-standing position, which promotes peaceful action and non-violence by all parties.

Al-Wefaq — a Bahraini political party in the opposition — issued a brief statement on Friday, October 19, saying that “four people and a police officer were killed, and scores were injured in violent [confrontations] this month.”

This came in the wake of a different statement on the part of the Bahraini Ministry of the Interior, which announced that a police officer had been killed in a grenade attack on the same day in the village of Al-Eker.

The statement elicited reactions from Wefaq supporters and from the opposition in general. On the other hand, Al-Wefaq’s opponents ignored its statement, instead choosing to hold it solely accountable for the killing of the officer.

Jawad Fairouz, an Al-Wefaq leader, told As-Safir: “We call on opposition political associations to push for radical reform through direct dialogue. Any other approach is detrimental to all parties, and can produce no victor. We are determined to succeed in establishing a real democratic state based on the principle that the people are the main source of power, and on a complete separation between the three major powers.  We will adopt legitimate and peaceful means to achieve this goal.

“With due respect for the forces active on the political scene and their demands and objectives, we believe that the separation can be achieved through a free popular referendum. This can ensure that the people are the [main] source of power and that they can set their own demands,” added Fairouz, referring to the radical movements within the Bahraini opposition who call for the overthrow of the regime and a transition from a monarchy to a republic.

He continued, “The opposition forces agree on maintaining the peaceful nature of the movement, and have continuously called for this approach. The opposition does not support the targeting of any security forces or political parties, whether officially or within its ranks. What happened in the village of Al-Eker on Friday requires a neutral investigation.”

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