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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/26/11

Brutal State Terror in Bahrain

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-- the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR);

-- the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and

-- the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), among others.

On April 22, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) condemned the violence in a public statement and new report titled, "DO NO HARM: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients," as well as against protesters demanding change.

In mid-March, under Saudi occupation, King Hamad declared a state of emergency, set up checkpoints, and used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations. Moreover, calling Salmaniya Hospital a "stronghold of the opposition protesters," security forces occupied it, denied treatment to wounded patients, arrested doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, as well as human rights activists, bloggers, and other pro-democracy supporters.

As a result, dozens were killed, many hundreds detained or disappeared, and some fear an "undeclared war." Under Article 36(b) of Bahrain's 2002 Constitution, King Hamad may declare a state of national safety, saying:

"A state of national safety or martial law shall be proclaimed only by Decree. In all cases, martial law cannot be proclaimed for a period exceeding three months. This period may not be renewed except with the consent of the majority of the members of the National Assembly present (having no legislative authority)."

Article 32(b) vests the king with executive authority, "together with the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet) and Ministers," appointed by him.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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