[This statement was prepared by a coalition of civil society organizations in Bahrain. Translation by Khuloud and Ziad Abu-Rish. The original Arabic version be found here.]
Issued on February 17, 2011
Civil society organizations which represent all segments of Bahraini society and embody national unity have met and signed this statement. They strongly condemned the unwarranted brutal and surprise attack on peaceful protesters while they were sleeping in the Pearl Roundabout in Manama at dawn on Thursday, 02/17/2011, where they were raided, surrounded, and subjected to attacks by tear gas and rubber bullets meant to inflict the greatest amounts of harm and damage and not with a view to dispersing them. This is despite official reassurances and the formation of a committee to investigate the excesses of the security forces on the first day of events, which resulted in the suppression of the peaceful protest, the death of many martyrs, the injury of hundreds of wounded, and the disappearance of a dozen others, in addition to the attack on doctors, nurses, and ambulance teams and the prevention of ambulances from reaching the injured, which is in violation of international conventions in this regard.
This mass movement took off on February 14th and has adopted a peaceful approach to express its demands, which are as follows:
1- Establishing a Constitutional Monarchy according to the National Charter, and the formation of a governing system that is based on a contractual constitution that ensures the peaceful transfer of the executive power according to the principle "the people are the source of all powers."
2- Establishing public freedoms, including the freedom of expression, the formation of political parties and trade unions in both the public and private sectors, the freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration, and other freedoms guaranteed by international conventions.
3- Releasing all political prisoners and an end to their show trials.
4- Adoption of constructive methods of dialogue between the government and active forces of society in a way that consolidates national unity between different sectors of Bahraini society.
5- Demanding a halt to malicious campaigns that inflame sectarianism through various media.
Accordingly, the undersigned civil society organizations consider sending the army to the streets a dangerous escalation of the already-loaded situation, and calls upon his Majesty the King to intervene immediately to stop the violence of the security forces and holding the perpetrators of the abovementioned incidents accountable.
1. Bahraini Sociologists’ Society
2. Bahraini Nursing Society
3. Family of Writers
4. General Federation of Trade Unions of Bahrain
5. Bahrain Society of Women`s Awakening
6. Awal Women Society
7. Society of Rural Women
8. Bahraini Women’s Society
9. National Society for the Support of Education and Training
10. Bahraini Society for Transparency
11. Society for the Support of Students
12. Bahraini Society for Human Rights
13. Bahraini Teachers’ Society
14. Bahraini Dentists Society
15. Bahrain Soicety for Women
16. Society for Cultural Renewal
17. Bahraini Society of Lawyers
18. Society of Democratic Youth
19. Bahraini Society for Resistance Against Normalization