Liberal party calls for peaceful co-existence, end of violence

January 13, 2012

Hassan Madan

The head of a liberal party in Bahrain has called for an end to the violence that has deepened tension in the country. “We do stress the significance of peaceful co-existence as part of our common destiny,” Hassan Madan, the head of the Progressive Democratic Tribune, said.

“There is an urgent need to shun violence and fiery speeches that fuel tension and hatred against any segment of the society,” he said. Police forces should also exercise higher levels of wisdom and self-restraint and avoid any illegal methods when they deal with protests, the activist said as Bahraini society suffers critical fractures, mainly alongside sectarian faults.

“There is also the need to implement without delays the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to boost the move to ease the tension in the country,” he said.

The recommendations were included in a report released by the international fact-finding commission following four months of field investigations into the events that hit Bahrain in February and March and their consequences.

The commission, headed by international legal expert Cherif Bassiouni, was set up by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa in June to help determine responsibilities amid clashing reports about the events. Bassiouni, with first-hand expertise in former Yugoslavia, Libya and Afghanistan, told Gulf News in November that the Bahrain investigation was the most challenging, mainly as a result of the deep divergences in testimonies. The searing report put the government, political societies and protestors to task for abuses, misjudgements and lost opportunities.

“Sunnis and Shiites should share the belief that this is their country, that they can share in their country — they can have other identities so long as the sense of fundamental linkage is there,” Bassiouni told Gulf News. “Right now I think a Shiite feels estranged in their own country. And I think Sunni feels threatened in their own country.

The country is going to need to address the sense of threat and estrangement,” he said. Madan suggests that Bahrainis address the reasons for violence before it is too late. “There is a need to look carefully into the reasons there is so much violence today, and this has to be done before it is too late,” he said. “We do not want the country to slide into unfathomable situations. There is positive determination both within the state and among large segments of the society,” he said.

Almost nightly clashes and over the weekends between protestors and the police have had their toll on the normal lives of Bahrainis and expatriates living in the vicinity of the Budaya Highway, to the west of the capital, and in Sitra, seven kilometres to the south of Manama. The Progressive Democratic Tribune, launched in 2002, had three seats in the 2002 – 2006 Parliament before it was ousted mainly by religious societies that dominated the subsequent quadrennial elections.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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