Manama: A political observer says Bahrain’s so-called ‘national dialog’ has not achieved an iota of success because the people of Bahrain are not represented in the talks. “We think the dialog should have been with the people who are inside the prisons now… people should be represented in a fair manner,” Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, told the media on Thursday.“We know that the actual problem in Bahrain is between the people of Bahrain and the ruling family,” he added.
The analyst pointed out that those who attend the ongoing dialog are groups and organizations that have been brought in by Bahrain’s regime and the country’s intelligence and security services.
He further noted the ongoing negotiations will have no chance of success as long as the regime continues its crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
When faced with a revolution brewing countrywide, Manama launched the talks on July 2 with the announced aim of introducing reforms in the governing system of the Persian Gulf sheikdom.
Bahrain’s largest political party and opposition group – al-Wefaq – quit the negotiations, complaining that since their onset, the government had been trying to muffle the voice of the opposition.
Al-Wefaq expressed regret that the opposition has been given a fraction of the seats — 35 out of 300 — at the talks.
Tens of thousands of Bahraini protesters have been holding peaceful anti-government rallies throughout the country since February, demanding an end to the rule of the al-Khalifa family.
Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested and tortured in prisons in a government-sanctioned crackdown on peaceful protests since the beginning of the demonstrations.
The Bahraini government is, meanwhile, supported by the United States despite its record of human rights abuse and the numerous complaints lodged against it with the International Criminal Court at The Hague.