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Amnesty International censures Bahrain over ban on protests

bahrain largeAmnesty International has censured the Bahraini regime over its decision to ban all demonstrations and public gatherings across the country.

The London-based organization said on Wednesday that “law enforcement officials must act to protect peaceful protesters” and that the “authorities cannot simply declare a blanket prohibition on all protests.”

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on October 30 that it would ban all protest and gatherings, describing anti-regime demonstrations as repeated abuse of the rights to freedom of speech and expression.

Amnesty also stated that the Manama regime’s decision invalidates the rights to freedom of association, expression and assembly.

Alistair Burt, Amnesty’s minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said on Tuesday, “A blanket ban of this nature is excessive.”

“Peaceful protest is a democratic right. I hope the Bahraini government will rescind this measure as quickly as possible.”

Bahraini protesters have been staging anti-regime demonstrations since February 2011 and they hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the death of demonstrators during the uprising.

On Wednesday, the protesters defied the ban on gatherings and took to the streets in the capital Manama in support of political prisoners being held in jails.


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