For Immediate Release: January 22, 2013
Washington, DC – Any solution to Bahrain’s ongoing crisis must be anchored in full respect for human rights, said Human Rights First today following reports of a possible dialogue between government and opposition figures.
“Bahrain desperately needs an end to its crisis and real negotiations would be great news,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “We’ve seen false dawns before, but if a solution can be found that guarantees human rights, it would be a way out of the dangerous impasse. That said, human rights can’t be used as bargaining chips in a political process. Those who tortured and wrongly imprisoned people should still face justice, no matter who they are, and no matter what political solution might be agreed.”
Details of any negotiations have yet to emerge, but there are reports that senior Bahraini officials and some opposition figures have agreed to some form of dialogue. The reports come just weeks before the two year anniversary of Bahrain’s opposition uprising and the beginning of the Kingdom’s crackdown on dissenters.
“President Obama was right in May 2011 when he told the Bahraini government that ‘The only way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue, and you can’t have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail’,” said Dooley. “The best hope for Bahrain is for it to immediately release the peaceful political and human rights leaders it has jailed and embark on real negotiations.”
For more information or to speak with Dooley, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-370-3323.