The Foreign Minister is particularly concerned about the fact that four protesters were sentenced to death for their alleged involvement in the killing of two policemen during the protests in the country in March. “The fact that the trial took place behind closed doors in a military court gives cause for concern. The accusations against the four protesters are serious, and for that reason it is important that the trials are held in civilian courts, in accordance with the conventions that Bahrain itself has acceded to,” said Mr Støre.
“Norway is opposed to the use of the death penalty in general, and I would like to encourage the Bahraini authorities to introduce a moratorium on executions,” Mr Støre commented.
Foreign Minister Støre is also very concerned about the fact that so many healthcare workers have been arrested in Bahrain, and finds it unacceptable that the Bahraini authorities have threatened in recent weeks to ban opposition parties in the country.
“Dialogue is the only way of solving the political conflict in Bahrain. It is therefore crucial that a national dialogue between the royal family and the protesters on necessary reforms gets under way as soon as possible. The Bahraini authorities must respect freedom of expression and protect human rights defenders in the country,” Mr Støre said.