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Bahrain: Security Forces Place Cement Blocks and Barbed Wire around Villages Ahead of "Tamarrod"

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The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is gravely concerned in regards to the ongoing and escalating government crackdown following the announcement of Bahrain Rebellion "Tamarrod" Movement to take place in Bahrain tomorrow, 14th of August 2013, to demand the right of self-determination and human rights through peaceful protests. Ever since the call for the protests, approximately a month and a half ago, the BCHR has documented rapidly increasing violations committed by the Bahraini authorities; from passing new repressive laws, increase of violent, arbitrary arrests and house raids, and to the most recent case of surrounding some villages with barbed wire and cement blocks.

On Monday, 13th of August 2013, security forces started surrounding some villages with barbed wire and placed cement blocks to control the movement and prevent protestors from reaching the main roads. Residents of those areas will be forced to cross police checkpoints whenever they need to leave or enter residential areas, which imposes the threat of getting arrested if they were suspected of participating in the protests.

Photo: Cement blocks and barbed wires in Bilad AlQadeem

Photo: Villages surrounded by barbed wire

Besides besieging several areas, the BCHR has also documented an increase of police and security presence at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, which is the only full-service public hospital in Bahrain, and a camera at the gate which records number plates of all cars entering. This poses a threat to all those who may seek medical treatment after getting injured while participating in peaceful protests, and those who take them to the hospital.

It is important to note that the unelected Prime Minister, Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, threatened during a high level meeting on Monday August, 12th 2013 that the government will forcefully confront any calls to violate law and order and those who stand behind them through decisive measures. Link to the full article: http://www.bna.bh/portal/en/news/574795.

The BCHR is very concerned about the impending crackdown tomorrow, and calls for international pressure on the Government in Bahrain to allow people their basic right to peaceful protest and freedom of assembly. Repression of peaceful calls for protest will only further deteriorate the human rights situation in Bahrain.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) believes that placing barbed wires and cement blocks around entire villages is in direct violation of the right to freedom of movement, and that all other suppressive acts of the Bahraini authorities are flagrant violations of all international conventions it has signed and ratified, and thus, the BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN and all other allies and relevant institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to immediately put an end to the human rights violations.

 

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