Jailing activists worsens Bahrain problem: Iran

Jailing activists worsens Bahrain problem: Iran
Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:58:37

Iran has decried continued imprisonment of political activists in Bahrain on groundless charges, stressing that it only exacerbates existing problems in the Persian Gulf state.

“Intensifying the security and police atmosphere and arresting and jailing Bahraini political activists on baseless charges will not resolve existing problems, but only complicates them,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Sunday.

She expressed hope that Bahraini officials would take confidence-building measures to pave the way for constructive talks between the government and people, and satisfy legitimate public demands.

Afkham’s remarks come following days of demonstrations in Bahrain in protest to the detention of Khalil al-Marzooq, the deputy leader of al-Wefaq, Bahrain's main opposition party.

Marzooq was arrested on Wednesday after being summoned to court and charged with inciting terrorism during a speech he made last week.

Head of Bahrain’s public prosecution, Nayef Yousif, has accused Marzooq of instigating violence and having links to a group authorities blame for alleged bombings and other attacks.

On September 18, al-Wefaq boycotted national reconciliation talks in protest against the detention of Marzooq, a former deputy speaker of parliament.

Amnesty International has also called on the al-Khalifa regime to release Marzooq.

The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011. Protesters initially called for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling al-Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council on September 9 that she was frustrated with reports of human rights violations in Bahrain.


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