Violence Against Police Officers Signals Rising Instability in Bahrain
Washington D.C. – Human Rights first today expressed alarm over reports that two policemen have been killed and others wounded in Bahrain, noting that the violent attack is a symptom of the worsening political crisis in the kingdom. Two on-duty Bahraini police officers were killed in an explosion, according to state media.
“This news is a tragedy for Bahrain – attacking police will not bring about the sort of radical change Bahrain desperately needs. Protestors can’t bomb their way to democracy,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Today’s reports are awful but not entirely surprising given the Bahraini government’s ongoing crackdown on nonviolent political dissent. Without an inclusive political settlement there will likely be more violent attacks and more deaths. The U.S. government should take action to help Bahrain to find a way out of its political crisis before the violence escalates.”
According to government figures, today’s deaths bring the total to 18 security officers who have been killed since largescale democracy protests broke out in Bahrain in 2011. Another police officer who was wounded today is reportedly seriously injured.
In recent months, the Bahraini government has continued to target peaceful dissenters, opposition figures, and human rights defenders. Several leading opposition figures and human rights activists remain in jail, and the Bahrain government’s failure to reform since widespread pro democracy protests broke out in February 2011 has resulted in years of instability.