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Concern over Actions Taken Against Opposition Leaders in Bahrain
July 15, 2015

Press Statement
John Kirby
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 14, 2015

The arrest of recently released Bahraini opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif, the detention and prosecution of opposition figure Majeed Milad, and reports about the re-opening of the case against Secretary General of Al Wefaq Political Society Ali Salman raise serious concerns about restrictions on freedom of expression in Bahrain.

While we welcome initial reports that Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been released from jail, we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to respect the freedom of expression — a universal right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a party.

As we have consistently maintained, opposition parties that peacefully voice criticism of the government play a vital role in inclusive, pluralistic societies. We urge the Government of Bahrain to protect the universal rights of freedom of expression and assembly, just as we urge all elements of Bahraini society to engage in peaceful expressions of political opinion and to condemn violence.