Expats in Bahrain back government temporary ban on demonstrations

Published:  5 Nov at 6 PM
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Bahrain’s recently announced temporary ban on all protests, demonstrations, rallies and public gatherings is being backed by the expat community in the country.

In an attempt to curb increasing street violence in the emirate, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulla al Khalifa recently banned all public gatherings and demonstrations, with legal action to be taken against organisers and participants in rallies. Although the ban has resulted in criticism from overseas human rights groups and the United Nations, it’s been welcomed by the Bahrain Federation of Expatriate Associations (BFPA).

According to the association, its members and residents in the emirate have suffered for months from the street violence which inevitably ends unsanctioned rallies, and welcomed the move as a boost to national security in the region. A spokesman for the BFPA said that violent protestors were infringing the human rights of both expatriates and Bahrainis daily in the name of freedom of assembly.

The spokesperson continued that pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and steel rods were the weapons of choice and were causing fear, chaos and panic amongst law-abiding residents. With human rights, he said, comes the responsibility of obeying the law and respecting the rights of others, which are clearly being ignored.

The association recognises the challenge to the Bahraini security forces charged with maintaining the law. It also considers the Interior Ministry has shown commendable restraint in upholding the law in the face of recent riots which caused the death of two police officers.
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