Friday, February 18, 2011

Bahrain: End Deadly Attacks on Peaceful Protesters

At Least 5 Dead, Hundreds Injured; Latest Assault Appeared Planned at Senior Levels

"(Washington, DC) - Bahrain's King Hamad Al Khalifa and Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Al Khalifa should immediately and publicly order a halt to deadly attacks on peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks have left at least five dead and hundreds wounded, some critically, since February 14, 2011.

Human Rights Watch also called on King Hamad to explain who was responsible for ordering the 3 a.m. attack on February 17 on a demonstrators' camp at Manama's Pearl Roundabout while most of those inside, including families with children, reportedly were sleeping. The king should hold those responsible fully accountable for the unlawful use of lethal force. The assault, which led to three deaths, involved hundreds of riot police and at least one helicopter, showing all the signs of having been planned and authorized at very high levels, Human Rights Watch said.

"There is absolutely no excuse for this escalating use of deadly force, and apparent misuse of weapons like teargas, against sleeping people," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "King Hamad and other high officials need to explain how and why this happened and to hold everyone who authorized and carried out this attack fully accountable."....."

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