DSA IC Congratulates the People of Bahrain on Prisoner Release

DSA International Committee congratulates the people of Bahrain on the release of 1,584 prisoners from the government cages. This constitutes the largest release of political prisoners since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain, approximately 0.2% of the entire citizen population. We echo the calls of civil society in Bahrain for the further release of all political prisoners in Bahrain, including all opposition leaders, and a genuine start to the reconciliation process following the aftermath of the Arab Spring. 

We commend the people of Bahrain in their fight for the release of the political prisoners, particularly following the death of Hussain Khalil who suffered from torture by state security and was murdered by medical negligence. The escalating weekly protests in Bahrain in support of Gaza and rejection of the normalization deal played a large role in pressuring Bahrain and its primary sponsor, the US, to offer this concession. The normalization deal, struck during the so-called “Abraham Accords” in 2020, ended a long-standing policy of rejection of the Zionist settler-colonial project by Bahrain, UAE, Morocco, and Sudan under the sustained pressure of the US’s threat to suspend aid and arms sales to all non-compliant Arab countries. In the context of escalating regional geopolitical pressures and the risk of a broader regional war, we call on the US government, which has its Navy’s fifth fleet stationed on the Bahraini islands, to listen to calls from Bahrain’s streets and withdraw its military bases lest it further endangers the people of the region with its dangerous acts of political brinkmanship and its support of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people.