22/10/2010 – 8:03 p | Hits: 112
October 22, 2010 Three opposition groups in Bahrain; Al-Wafa Islamic Movement, Haq Movement and Bahrain Freedom Movement, issued a joint statement listing 11 reasons for boycotting the election on 23rd October to choose 40 members of the Council of Representatives.
The three groups are considered by the authorities as unauthorized. According to Bahrain Minister of Justice, the three groups are the main target of the comprehensive crackdown that started on 13 September 2010. Many leaders and members of these groups are in detention and will be put on trial on 28th October, two days before the second round of the election. (Find below the text of the statement).
A fourth position group, the Islamic Action Society (AMAL), a registered political society, has also announced a campaign calling for boycotting the election.
Background and contacts:
1. Bahrain Freedom Movement: a group which has been active in exile campaigning for political reforms since the mid-eighties. Its spokesperson, Dr. Saeed Al Shehabi, who lives in exile in London, is a one of the 23 leading opposition figures facing charges of “forming an authorized group which incites to over through the government”.
Contact person: (in London): Dr. Saeed Al Shehabi: Telephone: 0044 20 84388266 Email: email@example.com
2. “Haq” Movement: created in 2006 by opposition figures who resigned from Al-Wefaq Islamic Society and the National Democratic Action Society (WAAD) when the two societies decided to register under the Political Societies Law which severely restricts these societies. Dr Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, a university professor and the head of the human rights section in the movement, is in detention facing same charges of organizing and inciting to over through the government. He has been subjected to severe torture. Hassan Mushamaa, the head of the movement, who is also facing the same charges, is currently in London undergoing medical treatment.
Contact person (in London): Hassan Mushamaa: Mobile: 0044 7909 362140 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. “Al-Wafa” Islamic Movement: Created as a result of a hunger strike in February 2009 and a popular campaign lead by score of political and human rights activists calling for the release of detainees, political reforms and promotion of freedoms and human rights. At least two of the 23 figures in detention facing charges of organizing and inciting to over through the government are identified by the authorities as being members of this group. Abdul-Wahab Hussain, a leading opposition figure and spokesperson of this group resides in Bahrain and has a weekly forum at his house in Ma’ameer village, southeast of Manama.
Contact person (in Bahrain): Abdul-Wahab Hussain: Mobile: Email: email@example.com
4. The Islamic Action Society (AMAL): the successor of the Islamic Front which was accused by the authorities in December 1981 of planning to overthrow the government by force. Now it is a registered political society. Recently, its website was blocked and re-opened while its newsletter is still banned.
Contact person (in Bahrain): Sayed Radhwan Al-Musawi Mobile: +973 39607676
The Coalition of Three Groups calls to Boycott Election
“Boycotting is a Type of Civil Disobedience and Peaceful Resistance”
A statement issued by:
“Al-Wafa” Islamic Movement, “Haq” Movement and “Bahrain Freedom Movement”
– In the Name of the God, the Most Beneficent, the Most MercifulWe call our people, men, and women, from all sects and political spectrum, to boycott this upcoming election of 2010: Among the reasons are the following:
1. To remain faithful to the scarifies of our martyrs and tortured detainees, over the past decades, and to the deceased legendary figure, Sheikh Abdul-Ameer Al-Jamri, who said, “This is not the parliament that people struggled to achieve.”
2. To send a protest message to the regime, so the World hears that we reject the constitution imposed on the people. In addition, we reject the council that results from this constitution, the unjust sectarian gerrymandering of election, the manipulation of election through votes cast by military service members and thousands of naturalized foreigners who live outside Bahrain, the use of public voting stations, the injection of political money into campaigns, and the absence of international and local monitoring.
3. To declare that the past eight years have resulted in, only, disappointment and legalization of dictatorship, sectarian conflict, massive political naturalization, corruption, crackdown on people, war on the middle class, and the plundering of national treasury and lands. The honest people, who worked from inside the political establishment, have no power to stop or stand against these crimes
4. To announce that, whoeever participates in the election, carries religious and historic responsibility for any unjust law issued by the council that caused people interests to be neglected and wasted. The “No” word is the least we can say to the dictatorial regime
5. Because the regime’s propaganda machine, inside and outside Bahrain, says that high level participation of people in the election indicates the support of people to the political system and to the regime policies, it is imperative that we boycott this election.
6. Because the election, in its current form, deepens the sectarian division among citizens, we will boycott. Government encourages citizens to vote on the basis of loyalty to the sect, not the national interests. This is a serious threat to the national unity and the country.
7. The votes of 15 individuals, in some areas, are worth less than one vote in government-influenced areas. Participation in this election, with this level of discrimination, is tantamount to accepting the unjust sectarian apartheid system.
8. The regime, with its figures, media, and security forces has exploited the sectarian weapon, opened jails, practiced state-sponsored terror, controlled religious institutes and traditions, and violated people religious rights, to force us to give up and submit under participation in the political system. Our answer to the regime: to show Weakness and defeat from our side is a goal that you will never achieve
9. Because the regime has imprisoned political and human rights figures, and tortured them to silence their call to boycott election, our message to the regime is: we will not participate in the election but will defend the detainees and support them and their just cause
10. Because voting will not change the fact that the council will be fully controlled by the regime and the belief that participation will empower the government, we will boycott the election
11. Because boycotting is one type of civil disobedience and political resistance, and is the only method to revive the chances for reform and achieve the popular demand for real participation in the decision-making process, we will boycottAt the end, we like to remind our dear people that there is no religious decree that orders citizens to participate or to boycott the election. People are advised to base their decision on their convention, and on what they see as in the best interest of the people and the country
“Participate in distributing this statement through all appropriate methods”
“God has the first and final word, those who commit unjust will meet their fate, and the righteous people will prevail”