Condemning street violence

February 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

It was quite disturbing to read reports over the weekend about street violence that ended the life of a young police officer and a 16 year old boy, and resulted in numerous injuries sustained both by the police and demonstrators. These horrific incidents shed unfortunate light on a serious problem facing Bahrain – the dual need to ensure the rights of peaceful free assembly and to provide security for all Bahrainis.

For many months, the Government of Bahrain has encouraged opposition political societies to issue a general denouncement of street violence and to encourage their supporters to participate only in peaceful protests. This was not a public relations ploy; rather, it offered a genuine opportunity to move past the politics of the street and toward a multilateral and inclusive dialogue that can help address the aspirations of the Bahraini people.

As this dialogue continues to develop, it remains important to avoid the use of violent tactics that can result in needless bloodshed. I hope all political societies in Bahrain will work to discourage the use of violence as a political tool and will instead focus their efforts in ensuring the success of the ongoing National Dialogue – which will hold its third session tomorrow.

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