We are witnessing a series of worrying developments, including ongoing judicial proceedings regarding the suspension of Bahraini opposition political society Al-Wefaq, which point to increasing polarisation of society in Bahrain.
The sentencing of 9 years on appeal against its Secretary General Ali Salman, as well as the re-arrest of Mr. Nabeel Rajab and measures preventing activists from travelling abroad can only represent an obstacle to the national reconciliation in the Kingdom.
The EU also shares the concern voiced by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as regards measures amounting to deprivation of nationality, which should respect international human rights standards. A transparent appeal process should be offered to any citizen subject to such decision. Furthermore, revoking the citizenship of prominent figures such as Sheikh Isa Qassim risks increasing divisions and sectarian differences.
The EU remains supportive of Bahrain's stability through reforms and inclusive reconciliation. They can only be sustained in an environment where peaceful political grievances can be expressed freely, and where violence has no place. In this context the EU expresses its condolences to the relatives of the victims of the terrorist blast which led to the death of an innocent citizen last Thursday South of Manama.