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Human Rights Organizations: Several Gravely Wounded During Security Forces’ Sudden Attack on Peaceful Protesters in Al-Duraz

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A number of Bahraini human rights organizations have stated in a joint statement that “The government’s sudden attack on peaceful protesters’ sit-in around the residence of the Shiite leader Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim early on Thursday morning,  January 26th, 2017, has resulted in many casualties, with one individual being gravely injured. The targeted 17-year-old, Mustafa Hamdan, was transferred to the ICU after being seriously injured during the assault on Al-Duraz and the excessive use of force by the security forces and their use of live rounds and bird shot pellets.”

The undersigned Bahraini human rights organizations explained that, “A group of masked security agents attacked the protesters in Al-Duraz with excessive use of force early today [Thursday, January 26th] at around 2:20AM local time in Manama. These Bahraini citizens engaging in a peaceful sit-in were merely exercising their legal right to peaceful assembly, and we the undersigned call on various human rights organizations and international institutions to investigate this incident before Bahraini commit to further using force in order break up the sit-in, which will undoubtedly lead to catastrophic results and dangerous political and social consequences.”

The statement further added that “the restrictive siege that the authorities have put into effect in Al-Duraz has gone on for the past 221 days, and this is in clear violation of Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Numerous grievances have been documented of local residents being forced to wait at arbitrary security checkpoints for hours at a time so that the authorities can ascertain that they are legal residents of Al-Duraz. Furthermore, trucks supplying food and drinking water are banned from entering the village, and the free movement of persons has been restricted. Over 100 citizens have been summoned for investigation, and some of them were arrested. The authorities also continue to censor access to the internet. Such oppressive security measures have adversely affected the living conditions in Al-Duraz.”

Signed,

Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, Bahraini Forum for Human Rights, Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, The European Bahraini Organization for Human Rights, and the Bahraini German Organization for Human Rights and Democracy.

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