Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (29 April) in response to the four death sentences handed down yesterday by a military court in Bahrain:
“I call on the leaders of Bahrain to refrain from carrying out the death sentences handed down on four demonstrators and to review their cases. The violence in Bahrain must stop. The monarchy and Government of Bahrain are called upon to launch a political process aimed at promoting reconciliation and ensuring that all sections of society can participate fully in the nation’s political and economic life. This will require the release of all political prisoners and an investigation into the recent violence. The right of Bahraini citizens to express their opinions and assemble peacefully must be protected. All Bahrainis have the right to live in freedom and dignity. These draconian sentences are inimical to any process of national dialogue and reconciliation.”
The protests by the Shia majority in Bahrain broke out in February and are still continuing. Many people have been killed in the violence, for which the security forces are primarily responsible. The demonstrators are demanding greater political and economic participation.