Tuesday, May 10, 2011

West's silence on Bahrain censured

This file photo shows a youngster holding up a placard during an anti-government protest in Bahrain's capital, Manama

Source: Press TV

A Bahraini human rights group has lambasted the West's refusal to openly condemn brutal Saudi-backed crackdown against the popular uprising in Manama.

"The response from the West has been very timid,” said Nabeel Rajab, the head of the non-governmental Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Reuters reported on Monday.

“It shows the double standards in its foreign policy compared to Libya," he added, referring to recurrent high-profile condemnations of government-sanctioned bloodshed in the North African nation.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's rule of over 40 years.

On March 14, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed police and military forces in the kingdom upon Manama's plea for help in suppressing the nationwide protests.

Manama has imposed a state of emergency in the country following the arrival of the Saudi-led troops.

According to local sources, scores of people, including human rights campaigners, have been killed -- some under torture -- and hundreds of others kept in detention ever since the uprising began.

Saudi-led forces have swept up politicians, journalists and even medical staff. Several detainees have died while in police custody.

Rajab said the questionable Western policy has led to a significant rise in Riyadh's influence on the tiny Persian Gulf state. "Saudi influence is so huge on Bahrain now and the West has not stood up to it, which has disappointed many. They're losing the hearts and minds of the democrats in Bahrain."

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