Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) denounced the ongoing human rights violations by the Bahraini authorities, while the European Union continues to provide it with political and military support without attempting to curb these blatant violations. The EU’s support encourages those authorities to commit further practices aimed at crushing dissent.
On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, the High Representative Borrell and the Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs signed a cooperation agreement between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bahrain, to establish an institutional framework for political dialogue and cooperation in areas of trade, research, innovation, clean energy and renewable energy sources.
In the context of that agreement, human rights were not referred to in a serious manner.
At the time of signing the agreement, the Bahraini judiciary issued a decision to detain two children for 7 days (Hussein Ayoub and Mohamed Rashid, 13 years old), after being interrogated by the Public Prosecution on February 7, on fabricated charges of arson and gathering.
The children were interrogated without the presence of their lawyers or relatives.
According to the Bahraini Penal Code they might face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, in two separate cases.
Over the last week, the Bahraini authorities launched a campaign of arrests against 18 people, including 4 children, despite calls of the World Health Organization to reduce the numbers of prisoners to curb the outbreak of the Corona epidemic that has already hit the largest prison in Bahrain, according to the statements of the Bahraini Ministry of Interior.
Twelve detainees from the Asian community have been confirmed to be infected with Corona virus in Jau Prison. The prison contains approximately 114 inmates who have had contact with those infected with Coronavirus, yet the prison administration has not taken the necessary measures to isolate or test those who were in contact with them, in order to prevent the spread of the epidemic among prisoners .
Signing such agreements by the EU, regardless of the gross violations of human rights committed by the Bahraini authorities would result in more brutality and suppression of dissidents.
AOHR UK called on the European Union to adhere to its basic principles, review all forms of cooperation with the Bahraini authorities, make all agreements conditional to respecting human rights by those authorities, release prisoners of conscience and stop all arbitrary trials.