Rights group expresses concern over fate of 7 Bahraini civilians forcibly disappeared

An independent human rights group has expressed deep concern over the fate of seven people, including two minors, who have been forcibly disappeared as the ruling Al Khalifah regime relentlessly continues with its crackdown on human rights activists and pro-democracy campaigners in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said in a statement on Saturday that the victims, who come from five different villages, had not been heard of for weeks, Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.

The BFHR identified the minors as Sadiq Jaafar al-Sammak from the town of A’ali, situated about three kilometers southeast of the capital Manama, and Mohsen Abdullah al-A’ali from the village of Buri, located about 13 kilometers southwest of Manama.

The human rights group stressed that the first minor had gone missing since October 5, while the second had disappeared since November 8.

The BFHR said the Manama regime had restored to enforced disappearance as a means of pressure against those arrested over exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.