For Immediate Release
February 10. 2012
International Observers Arrive in Bahrain
[Manama] Today, human rights defenders launched the “Witness Bahrain” initiative to monitor and report on the repression of Arab Spring democracy activists in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“Witness Bahrain” is a group of international observers, primarily from the United States, who have responded to the call of Bahraini human rights activists to witness their revolution, stand with them at protests, in hospitals and in villages, and to tell the world what they see. The government of Bahrain has denied entry to a number of prominent journalists and human rights workers in the lead-up to the one-year anniversary of the massive and ongoing pro-democracy movement.
“People here fear that the government of Bahrain’s attempt to keep out foreign observers signals an impending escalation of violence,” said Radhika Sainath, a civil rights attorney from New York. “As such, our presence here is all the more crucial.”
In the coming days and weeks, Witness Bahrain will stand with people taking to the streets to demand democracy, equality and respect for human rights. Witness Bahrain will also maintain a presence in villages active in pro-democracy protests which are being subjected to night raids, tear-gassing and other attacks by the police.
“We call on the Bahraini government to refrain from attacking peaceful protesters; however, should the government choose to continue using violence, we will be present to witness,” the group said.
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