Bahraini Civil Society Asks for Help
Published on Wed, 2011-03-16 07:53
The United Nations, the Arab League and the international community in general must intervene to stop the massacre that Bahrain demonstrators and activist are currently suffering, warned this Wednesday the local civil society organizations. The Bahraini opposition considers the Saudi and Emirates military contingents as occupation forces. Eurostep, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and Social Watch asked the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, to call Bahraini authorities for an immediate end to the violence.
The following urgent appeal was received from trusted members of the local Social Watch coalition:
"The Civil Society Organizations in Bahrain appeal for international help to stop the systematic mass murder of unarmed demonstrators and activists, who are claiming for the founding of democratic institutions and for respect of their legitimate rights.
"Thousands of civilian persons have suffered a huge repression by the anti-riot police, armed militias and the military forces, including the Saudi-Gulf contingents, in the Shia areas of the capital Manama, in Muhraq, Sitra, Hamad Town, most of Northern and Middle Region along Budia Road.
"A mass attack against Sitra island, on Tuesday 15, left three dead persons and hundreds wounded. The dawn of Wednesday 16 witnessed a sweeping attack against Lulu Circle, where Bahraini and Saudi armed forces participated in the repression, along with the anti-riot police, with fire arms, while six Apache choppers roamed the skies to intimidate the demonstrators.
"In both days ambulances from central Salmanya hospital were prevented from assist the victims, and the paramedics were assaulted. In Sitra, a medical center was besieged and attacked by the militia. The Slamanya hospital was besieged and assaulted by the anti-riot police, in order to arrest the wounded. Electricity was cut off the Lulu Circle, all the surrounding area and the hospital. Mobile telephone service was cut off all northern region of Bahrain until 10 AM .
"The attacks against Shia residential areas continue.
"The Bahraini government, along with Saudi and Emirates governments, are responsible for these massacres, according to the Civil Society Organizations, which consider the Saudi-Emirates contingents as occupation forces.
"The Civil Society Organizations asked the UN, its Security Council, the Arab League and the international community in general to curb the attackers and to end this massacre. States with leverage to Bahrain government, they say, should intervene directly.
"Relief agencies such as International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Médecins Sans Frontières should intervene to break the siege of hospitals and assaults against medical staff.
The Bahraini Civil Society Organizations, Bahrain, 16th March. 2011
A Letter to Ban and Ashton
Eurostep, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and Social Watch send letters to the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, asking their institutions to call Bahraini authorities for an immediate end to the violence.
The letters urge both international officers “to make representation to the King of Bahrain and Bahraini Prime Minister in the strongest possible terms calling for an immediate end to the violence being perpetrated by the security forces on peaceful citizens, to take immediate measures to protect civilians in accordance with international and humanitarian law, and to respond to the demands of people through a process of constructive dialogue”.
It also asked Ban and Ashton to “call on King Abdulla Ben Abdel Aziz of Saudi Arabia, and Sheikh Khalifa Ben Zayed of the United Arab Emirates to withdraw their troops from Bahrain and to refrain from any involvement in the repression of peaceful expressions by the Bahraini people”.
The letters were signed by Simon Stocker (Eurostep), Ziad Abdul Samad (ANND) and Roberto Bissio (Social Watch).
Letter to the EU High Representative (17 March 2011) - Violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Bahrain (pdf)
Letter to the Secretary General - United Nations (17 March 2011) - Violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Bahrain (pdf)