Police deaths wholly condemned, urgent need for political solution
The Bahrain Justice and Development Movement records its deep condemnation and concern over the escalating tensions in Bahrain, that today saw a reported three Police Officers killed in an explosion. An extremist opposition group “Al Ashtar” has claimed responsibility for the attack.
BJDM stands with the National Democratic Opposition Societies who recorded their own condemnation of this attack today. There is no room for such acts in what has been a predominantly peaceful and non-violent movement for democratic reform in Bahrain.
This dangerous escalation is an urgent indicator of the need for a serious political solution to the ongoing crisis in Bahrain. Polarisation and extremism are born out of a lack of a political process. A renewed political progress that engages all stakeholders in Bahraini society is the only way the country can avoid the alarming slide into further chaos.
What is clear is that this regrettable incident must not be used to de-rail any proposed political dialogue, of which has been discussed in recent weeks. The reverse is true. This incident highlights the urgent need for the renewal of a serious dialogue process. There will be some in the Government who try to use the bombing as a pretext to argue that there can be no deal with the opposition.
It is the credit of the opposition that they have consistently worked tirelessly to dissuade youth activists from violence; without their intervention it is likely that the level of violence would be worse. Bahrain has not witnessed the same level of violence as seen elsewhere in the region, despite ongoing provocations from the security forces that has left over 100 dead and thousands injured.
Yet despite their condemnation the headquarters of Al Wefaq Society was attacked by knife-wielding vigilantes immediately following the attack. The Government should condemn this dangerous reaction and work to stop further attacks.
Furthermore the bombing must be investigated impartially and fairly. Collective punishment, including mass arrests, tear-gassing and house raids must be avoided at all costs. Such acts will only create further tension and exasperate the situation.
This sad day for Bahrain has the potential to spiral into a long-term cycle of violence, with a solution ever further from reality. It is up to all sides to act responsibly and continue to work towards a political solution, or the death count will continue to rise on all sides.