Reform Begins with Social Justice and Human Rights

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The National Democratic Opposition parties held their regular meeting on Monday, 15th February 2016 where they discussed local, regional and international issues and their reflection on the situation in Bahrain. They released the following statement:

We, in the National Democratic Opposition parties, are persistence to the people of Bahrain’s legitimate demands for freedom, democracy, social justice and the appliance of the principles of the modern civil democratic state. A state where human rights and citizenship are respected and discrimination is criminalized in all its forms. Alongside, financial and administrative corruption must be countered and transparency must be a methodology of administrative action in state institutions. For these demands, the peaceful movement in Bahrain shall continue as violence from all sides is renounced.

The National Democratic Opposition parties would like to honor the sacrifices, steadfastness and patience the Bahraini people have shown over the past five years of the peaceful movement. Our highest honor goes to our martyrs and their families, and our prisoners of conscience and opinion.
The legitimate demands of this peaceful movement, once achieved, would entrench civil peace, social stability and the opening of a sustainable development process in political, economic and social life in Bahrain. It is most important to foster national unity and counter-sectarianism from all sides, thus, hate incitement rhetoric must be halted.

Political and economic reform entails conditions and willingness able to turn theory into executive plans and programs. The official party has failed in the execution of the goals of the National Action Charter that was ratified 15 years ago. This is why Bahrain is facing the results of the political, constitutional, economic and financial crises, and this is what led its people to rise in February 2011.

Over the past years, since the eruption of the peaceful movement, the opposition parties delivered a number of initiatives and visions to leave the political crisis, however, we found no response from the official party. On the 3rd of March 2011, the opposition parties submitted a vision in response to an invitation by the Crown Prince, then declared support to the initiative he announced on 13th March 2011. The opposition parties also delivered their vision to national dialogue that was launched in June 2011, in addition to the visions of the democratic association on March 6th 2012, the Manama Document in October 2011 and the Non-Violence Principles Declaration in November 2012. The opposition took their participation in the dialogue launched in February 2013 genuinely and delivered their visions for national consensus. In January 2014, the opposition parties released the Anti-Hate Declaration emphasizing national unity and rejecting exclusion and discrimination.

The National Democratic Opposition parties urge that the National Action Charter, which the people agreed on, be applied to meet a real constitutional monarchy, to respond to the 7-Principles announced by the Crown Prince and the opposition’s declarations through a genuine dialogue and to implement the recommendations of both the BICI report and the Human Rights Council in the UN. Reports released by local and international human rights organizations must be responded to in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and that on Economic and Cultural Rights. The ruling party is urged to move to a win-win political settlement through a dialogue that can achieve positive outcomes for all factions in Bahrain and end the security handling of the political constitutional crisis. Political resolution must begin with a security detente and the release of political prisoners, starting with women, elderly and school and college students. The opposition parties are also calling for peaceful marches, assemblies and gatherings to be allowed as a fundamental human right and principle of a modern state. Expropriation of the right to freedom of speech and opinion must be stopped and freedoms must not be restricted.

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