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European Parliament urges Bahrain to end rights abuses

The European Parliament has called on Bahrain to put an end to all human rights abuses in the Persian Gulf kingdom, calling for a ban on the export of tear gas and crowd control equipment to the country.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution, calling for “the immediate and unconditional release of all those imprisoned in relation to their rights to free expression, assembly or association, including journalists, peaceful protesters and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.”

The resolution also said the European Parliament “regrets the continuing human rights violations in Bahrain and urges the Bahraini government to swiftly” improve the situation of human rights in the country.

The resolution particularly urged the release of jailed political activist, Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

Rajab’s family says he was arrested on April 2 for posting comments on Twitter denouncing torture in a regime detention center where activists are held.

“Nabeel Rajab’s case is emblematic … of many more cases of repression and abuse of human rights. And we do call for all charges to be dropped,” Alyn Smith, a member of the European Parliament and one of the authors of the resolution, said.

The resolution also suggests “an EU ban on tear gas and crowd control equipment until investigations on improper use are conducted regarding their improper use and until the perpetrators of such improper use are held accountable.”

It also urges a to ban on “the exports of technologies used for tracking, tracing, censorship and surveillance of information and communication flows, resulting in human rights violations.”

The European Parliament in the resolution “condemns the continuing use of torture and other cruel, degrading treatment or punishment against prisoners, peaceful protesters and civilians by Bahraini authorities and the security forces.”

Anti-regime protesters have been holding demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

The ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations has left scores of Bahrainis dead and hundreds of others injured.

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