BJDM call for immediate release of Khalil Almarzooq

The Bahrain Justice and Development Movement condemns the detention of Bahraini political leader Khalil Almarzooq and calls for his immediate release and dropping of any charges. Almarzooq, Political Assistant to Al Wefaq Secretary-General and leading opposition figure, was detained this morning after being summoned to Budaiya Police Station yesterday. He was transferred to the Civil Prosecution Centre in a police vehicle and in custody, where he is awaiting interrogation.

The summons is believed to relate to a speech given by Almarzooq on 7th September during a routine opposition rally. Authorities have used the speech as a pretext to accuse Almarzooq of supporting terrorist activities, violence and the downfall of the regime.

Al Wefaq is a signatory to the opposition ‘Non-Violence Declaration’ and have consistently condemned all forms of violence in Bahrain. During the accused speech Almarzooq reiterated “We have no alternative except supporting all peaceful movement, our line of distinction will continue to be the peacefulness, therefore I encourage you to continue and keep up with your peacefulness”

Therefore it is clear that the targeting of Almarzooq is purely politically motivated and a direct attack on Bahrain’s moderate opposition. Despite a number of threats he is the first leading figure from Al Wefaq to be arrested since the emergency law crackdown of March 2011. Yet it comes at a time when the authorities are touting the ongoing National Consensus Dialogue, with which Al Wefaq is engaged as part of the opposition team.

BJDM consider the detention of Almarzooq to be an attack on all moderate voices in Bahrain, as well as the National Dialogue which will undoubtedly be affected by the detention of a leading figure of the main opposition party involved in the talks. The incident confirms the lack of seriousness with which the authorities are treating the dialogue, continuing to commit violations whilst supposedly engaging in talks.

Furthermore we call for the immediate intervention of the international community to protect those peacefully seeking democratic reforms. The detention of Almarzooq should be taken as another step over the line of acceptability and should it go unchallenged, it will lead to further arrests of important political figures. The international community, with whom Almarzooq has a strong relationship, must act to ensure his safe release and dropping of any charges.

Did you like this? Share it: