Bahrain opposition boycotts talks

Bahrainis holding an anti-regime protest (file photo).

Bahrain’s main opposition groups have boycotted country™s national reconciliation talks to protest against the crackdown in the country.

On Wednesday, Jamil Kazem, a spokesman for five Bahraini opposition groups led by al-Wefaq bloc, said that in the absence of positive reforms and harsh crackdown the groups have decided to boycott the talks this week.

Bahraini regime has initiated national dialogue as part of an attempt to appease the opposition and end almost two years of popular uprising that has gripped the country.

Numerous rounds of talks have failed to heal the rifts between the opposition and the Manama regime since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain.

This comes as a Bahraini court, on Sunday, handed 50 Shias prison terms of up to 15 years for allegedly forming an opposition group known as the “February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition” in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Bahraini authorities accuse the anti-regime group of involvement in ˜terrorism™ acts.

Amnesty International (AI) has condemned the imprisonment of Shia activists in Bahrain, saying, “The authorities simply slap the label ‘terrorist’ on defendants, and then subject them to all manner of violations to end up with a ‘confession’.”

Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, calling for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations are met.


Copyright: Press TV