Bahrain records 11,000 acts of arson in 3 years
Manama, February 26, 2014
Bahrain's police have seized a total of 154,816 weapons from violent anti-government radicals in the space of three years - in addition to 35,914 Molotov cocktails, according to new figures released yesterday.
The country has witnessed 11,195 acts of arson, 2,298 incidents of damage to public and private property and the blocking of 14,205 roads in the same period, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The statistics - which cover 2011, 2012 and last year - are included in a report released by Human Rights Affairs Minister Dr Salah Ali yesterday.
It says there were a total of 36,774 security violations and 25,725 attacks on police resulting in 2,080 injuries and eight deaths, while 2,204 police patrol jeeps were damaged.
The report was released during a press conference at the ministry's headquarters at Bahrain Financial Harbour.
It coincided with the visit by a technical team from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Dr Ali hit out at terrorist tactics employed by government opponents and called on community leaders to help restore calm to the streets.
He said the ongoing violence was "not the way to ask for reforms."
"We condemn violence and the government is clear on this issue that it needs to be stopped," said the minister.
"All political societies and religious leaders should take a strong stance in condemning violent attacks - including those targeting policemen."
Dr Ali called on opposition groups to deliver their demands at the negotiating table, instead of repeatedly disrupting daily life.
"Talks on the streets should be shifted to the dialogue table, which is open to discuss political and other issues," he said.
"The National Dialogue is for the good of the country and will help the future generations of Bahrain.
"Everyone should be united in promoting the message 'no to violence'."
The ministry's report highlights its achievements in pushing forward the human rights agenda in Bahrain.
However, its breakdown of statistics on security also state that last year police confiscated 45 homemade weapons, as well as 339 homemade tear gas and sound bombs.
The report states that in 2011 a total of 1,580 illegal rallies were conducted, compared with 2,147 in 2012 - when 112 authorised demonstrations also took place.
Last year there were 89 legal rallies and 1,319 unauthorised demonstrations.
The report also documents sectarian clashes - with 140 registered in 2012 and 86 last year. - TradeArabia News Service