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Wave of arrests as Bahrain marks anniversary of 14 February uprising

A youth wears a mask to protect himself against the tear gas fired by police during an anti-government protest in Abu Saiba village, west of the capital Manama, Bahrain, 4 July 2014
A youth wears a mask to protect himself against the tear gas fired by police during an anti-government protest in Abu Saiba village, west of the capital Manama, Bahrain, 4 July 2014

NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images

This statement was originally published on bahrainrights.org on 15 February 2019.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is concerned by the wave of arrests that have been carried out in the run up to and on 14 February, which marks the anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

Around 40 arrests have been carried out so far as Bahrain marks the uprising anniversary. In the two days leading up to the anniversary, 28 arrests were carried out, with 11 further arrests on the morning of 14 February, including those of three minors. It is likely that further arrests will follow.

The majority of these arrests, which took place in over ten different areas, were carried out following unlawful house raids. A further arrest was carried out against a protestor.

Also in the lead up to the anniversary, dozens of peaceful protests have taken place in many cities, including Al-Manama. In the afternoon of 14 February, one protest was met by tear gas.

BCHR: "Each year, we see a growing crackdown at this time of year. In 2017 we saw excessive force used against protestors, leading to many injuries. So far this year, we have seen a wave of arrests carried out, and expect that more could follow".

Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the European Union and all international human rights organizations to put more pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

• Immediately and unconditionally release those arbitrarily detained

• Immediately put an end to violations of human rights, in particular the right to express opinions and freedom of peaceful assembly

• Accountability for those responsible for violations, regardless of their position

• Compensation of victims in fair compensation pursuant to the size of their injuries.

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