For Immediate Release: February 17, 2011
Washington, DC – Human Rights First today condemned the early morning violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protestors camped out in Manama, Bahrain’s Pearl Square and urged the Obama Administration to find a consistent voice in support of human rights and democracy throughout the region.
“At least five people have been killed, some reportedly hit with shotgun pellets as they slept. More than 200 people, including children, were reportedly wounded,” said Human Rights First’s Neil Hicks. “The Government of Bahrain must immediately stop all use of violence against peaceful protesters and, instead, respect the basic rights of its people to freedom of expression and assembly. There should be no reprisals against protest participants or organizers.”
Human Rights First also called on the Obama administration to speak out to condemn these brutal actions by the Bahraini government and called its initial calls for “restraint” insufficient in the face of the force been used against defenseless protesters.
Hicks concluded, “In the face of widespread protests in the Middle East against governments allied with the United States – such as Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, as well as regimes that are more antagonistic towards it, like Iran – President Obama must find a consistent voice in support of universal human rights and the legitimate needs and interests of people who have been forced to live under repressive governments for far too long.”
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