Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (26 June 2014) on the acquittal of Bahraini opposition activist Khalil al‑Marzouq:
“The fact that Khalil al‑Marzouq has been acquitted is a positive step, especially with regard to the National Dialogue. Bahrain’s leaders should now quickly take further steps to build up confidence, including through the immediate release of political prisoners. It is urgently incumbent on all sides to work towards national reconciliation and an end to the violence.”
Khalil al‑Marzouq, leading member of the Bahraini opposistion movement al‑Wefaq, was acquitted on 25 June 2014. Under anti‑terrorism legislation, he had been accused of incitement to violence and support of an organisation which the Bahraini Government classes as a terrorist group (“14 February Movement”). By presenting extensive video material, the defence succeeded in proving that not only had Mr al‑Marzouq always called for the renunciation of violence, he had actually condemned violence.