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AI Criticizes Arrests in Bahrain

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TEHRAN, May 5 (ICANA) – As Bahrain is intensifying its crackdown on the popular revolution, Amnesty International appeals to rulers in Manama to end arrests of opposition members.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 11:52:47 AM
AI Criticizes Arrests in Bahrain

The call came as Bahraini regime arrested the Secretary General of Islamic Action Society Sheikh Mohamed Ali al-Mahfoodh who is a well-known opposition figure.

“The Bahraini authorities must stop detaining anyone who opposes them and release protesters who have been locked up for peacefully demanding reform,” AFP quoted Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, as saying Wednesday.

The Bahraini rulers should bring to an end their campaign of terror through arrests and extension of the emergency rule to curb the ongoing protests, he said.

The parliament on Tuesday voted to extend the state of emergency for three more months, which was due to expire on June 15.

“Even since the protests on the streets were violently crushed in mid-March the government's persecution of dissidents has not abated, while the renewal of the so-called 'State of National Safety' will only exacerbate this human rights crisis,” it said.

It added that Bahrain has used the “emergency law” to arrest protesters without any judicial warrant and “detain incommunicado protesters and political activists” and has also tried civilians in military courts, which is against the law.

Meanwhile, Bahrain's Center for Human Rights says Saudi-backed forces have tortured prominent rights activist Abdul-Hadi al-Khawaja.

Human rights organizations have strongly criticized Saudi-backed Bahrain forces for its heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February, calling for an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty.

Scores of protesters, including children, have been killed and many others gone missing. Regime forces have also raided dozens of mosques, schools, sacred sites and even graves in persisting efforts to suppress all opposition.

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