Bahrain Convictions Prove No Desire for Reform

Article Summary
Khalil al-Marzouk of the al-Wifaq Shiita opposition party says that the persecution of people connected to protests in Bahrain show the regime's lack of interest in reform, reports D. Mustafa. 

El-Khabar:  What do you have to say about the decision by the court of appeal to uphold judgments made against the opposition leaders?

Khalil al-Marzouk:  There is no fair judiciary in Bahrain, which many international human rights organizations have witnessed. The crown prince has even stressed the need to focus on justice, an admission by the state’s second man in command that justice has been absent in Bahrain. This is demonstrated by the trials of teachers, physicians and individuals from all sectors that were affected by the tyranny of justice. This justice was used by the authorities to suppress protesters. Moreover, there has been impunity for those who destroyed mosques, killed protesters and tortured detainees. Validating these judgments is a part of the biased court system. 

El-Khabar:  The king of Bahrain has spoken on many occasions about the need for political reform. What reforms were achieved?

Marzouk:  The authorities have no intention of making political reforms. If an intention to reform existed, then these court judgments would have been annulled and retrials would have taken place, particularly given that prominent opposition figures were tortured and there is no evidence proving that they used force or incited violence. All they have done is expressed their opinion. Upholding the judgments will extend the duration of the crisis, and this regime will not go for a political solution or agree on a constitutional monarchy without international pressure.

El-Khabar:  What does the opposition intend to do in the future?

Marzouk:  Political movements will continue and intensify, particularly as we approach the second anniversary of the revolution. There will be further mobilization of protestors and the Bahraini people will not give up after all the sacrifices that they have made. The tribal period has ended and power cannot stay in the hands of the ruling family. The international community should know that Bahraini citizens have the right to manage their own country.

Found in: bahraini opposition, bahrain

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