The Bahraini government has announced the release of many prisoners from both sexes, some under a royal pardon and others under the implementation of the Alternative Penal Code. Sources have highlighted the government’s intention to expand the Penal Code to include other political prisoners in the coming days.
Bahrain Interfaith considers that this step is a step in the direction of proper reform, although it remains a limited and late step. The Center emphasizes that releasing all political detainees, without any preconditions or restrictions, is a natural right, and it calls for ongoing steps to release prisoners to be part of an ongoing governmental policy, in which the government responds to local and international situations calling for the release of all political prisoners and to deal with the consequential damages.
Furthermore, Bahrain Interfaith hopes that there are genuine intentions from all parties in the crisis to build on the step of releasing the prisoners and that this step is a prelude towards entering into dialogue between the government and the opposition, leading to a reliable consent on comprehensive national reconciliation, addressing human rights violations, and establishing a new stage of state-building based on the principle of Equal Citizenship.
Moreover, Bahrain Interfaith emphasizes the need for the government to meet the requirements of building trust with all the components of society, and to abandon its policy of denying the existence of the deep crisis in the country. BI stresses that everyone recognizes the high cost suffered by citizens as a result of the crisis on political, social, and economic levels, besides its negative empathy on homeland security and social stability.
Kingdom of Bahrain
December 16, 2019