Statement From the Kingdom of Bahrain on the Recent Convictions of 21 Protesters

By Information Affairs Authority Bahrain, PRNE
Thursday, June 23, 2011

MANAMA, Bahrain, June 24, 2011 -

On Wednesday, the Military Prosecutor in Bahrain’s Lower
National Safety Court announced that 21 individuals had been
convicted of plotting to violently topple Bahrain’s government,
inciting violence, destroying property and passing forward
sensitive intelligence information to a terrorist organization in a
foreign country.

Nawaf Almuawdah, a government spokesperson, stressed Bahrain’s
commitment to a transparent and fair judicial process but noted
that no country could tolerate armed protestors seeking to
violently overthrow the government.

“Democracy and the rule of law are not new concepts for Bahrain.
Historically, Bahrain’s judicial system has ranked amongst the most
transparent and advanced in the Middle East. The government
commitment to these core precepts is unshakeable. But so is our
commitment to keeping peace on our streets and maintaining public
safety,” he said.

Almuawdah noted that protests in Bahrain began peacefully, but
distinguished those convicted of crimes as individuals that
participated in violent demonstrations aimed at threatening public
order and security.

“Measured dissent is a byproduct of any healthy democracy and
Bahrainis have engaged in free expression of all views and
opinions. The protests which started in February began peacefully
and those who called for legitimate reform were welcomed. The
government is committed to working with these individuals and their
counterparts in our forthcoming National Dialogue in order to make
progress on legitimate political change and social welfare,” he

“However, no sovereign country can be expected to tolerate
violence against the government. Those individuals who stand
accused have committed credible wrongdoing. They conspired with
foreign terrorist organizations and attacked state police. They
blocked roads, access to public facilities, destroyed property, and
closed off the financial harbour which systematically brought the
national economy to the edge of collapse. The government cannot and
will not stand for those who call for violence and attempt to
destroy the very fabric of Bahrain’s society. Under our legal
system each accused individual has been afforded the right to due
process and a fair, transparent trial,” he continued.

“The outcome of these trials cannot distract us from our
ultimate goal and the government has been unwavering and
unrelenting in its call for a comprehensive National Dialogue,
since February. The forthcoming talks will be an important
opportunity for all sides to reconcile and settle political
differences. We must work together towards a stronger, brighter
future for a democratic Bahrain,” Almuawdah concluded.

The defendants have been tried in National Safety Courts
presided over by two civilian judges and one military judge. All
defendants have had access to legal council and the full breadth of
rights guaranteed to all Bahrainis under its progressive,
transparent legal system. These rights include the ability to
appeal the issued verdicts within fifteen days of their being
handed down.

Nawaf Almuawdah, +973-1787-1111, or +973-3681-1118, +973-3968-0045, nawaf.m at

Government and Policy News

June 24 News

will not be displayed