Dialogue in Bahrain to continue unopposed, PM calls for renewed security measures

Published September 19th, 2013 - 09:31 GMT
National Dialogue talks in Bahrain will continue despite opposition party boycott (Courtesy of Bahrain Observer)
National Dialogue talks in Bahrain will continue despite opposition party boycott (Courtesy of Bahrain Observer)

Bahrain’s Prime Minister has urged the authorities to continue “taking the appropriate measures to preserve security and stability in the country.”

“In a country of freedoms and law, where human rights are preserved, citizens live in dignity and different opinions are respected within an atmosphere of democracy, there can be leniency towards violence and terrorism or tolerance towards nurturing terrorism and jeopardizing civil peace and national unity,” Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said.

“The determination of the people to protect society from terrorism should be attained by toughening punishments against terrorism. There is no room, within the state, for platforms that incite people, or for unlicensed entities or for illegitimate sectarian organisations. The law must be applied against them promptly and measures should be implemented with determination to confront terrorism and all those who attempt to undermine security and stability,” he said as he chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday.

Prince Khalifa added that the government wanted to achieve security for all Bahrainis irrespective of their backgrounds and that the security measures aimed to preserve people’s lives and safety and to protect society from terrorism.

“Whoever is committed to social peace, national unity, public political activism, openness on others and shunning violence in order to achieve the anticipated political, economic and social development will have the full support of the government,” he said.

Bahrain has always been known as an oasis of security and stability and so it will remain. All political, security and legal efforts should be deployed to protect the society in Bahrain from the threats of terrorism. We will continue with the necessary measures, based on the will of the people, to protect our society,” he said.

Prince Khalifa reiterated the government’s pledges after the interior ministry announced on Tuesday the death of Mohammad Amir Abdul Khaliq, a policeman who suffered critical injuries when a homemade bomb exploded on August 17 in the village of Dair on the island of Muharraq.

Amir, as he was known among friends, was one of five officers injured in the blast condemned by several countries. He was buried in Muharraq amid emotional tributes.

The interior ministry in a separate statement said that another officer was injured on Wednesday when shotgun pellets were fired at police in the village of Duraz, west of the capital Manama.

The ministry said that on-duty policemen came under attack at around noon and that firebombs, homemade shotguns and iron rods were hurled at them.

Politically, the coalition of five opposition societies said that they agreed to suspend their participation in the national dialogue, saying that they would link it to the political and rights developments on the ground.

The societies said that they would not attend the dialogue session after Khalil Marzouq, the deputy head of Al Wefaq society, was detained for 30 days pending an investigation into his alleged links with a “terrorist group.”

The opposition said that they did not rule out pulling out of the talks, launched on February 10 to help heal the wounds left by the dramatic events that occurred in February and March 2011.

However, their move was criticised by the other three components at the dialogue.

Participants from the coalition of political societies and from the government as well independent members from the bicameral parliament slammed the decision as “irresponsible” and said that they would continue the talks “in coordination with the dialogue sessions management.”

By Habib Toumi

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