Peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators killed in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen

The Canadian Arab Federation is alarmed at the killing of peaceful demonstrators in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen by security forces.

Bahrain is ruled by a monarchy and its unelected prime minister has been in office for 40 years. The pro-democracy movement there is demanding a constitutional monarchy, the resignation of the prime minister, political freedoms, the release of political prisoners, equality for all religious believers, more jobs and housing.

Thursday at dawn riot police stormed a peaceful protest camp in central Manama and began firing shotguns into the crowd of thousands killing at least 5 people and injuring more than 300, dozens seriously. Paramedics at the scene were assaulted and beaten viciously by police.

Libya has been ruled by Colonel Ghadafi for 41 years. Peaceful demonstrators calling for freedom from repression and corruption, accountability for human rights violations, release of political prisoners, more jobs and housing were attacked by paid government agents and security forces using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition resulting in the deaths of 24 people, and the wounding of hundreds.

In Yemen demonstrators calling for the resignation of President Saleh who has been in office for 32 years were attacked by police and paid government supporters resulting in the deaths of 3 and the wounding of dozens. A Yemeni opposition MP has also gone missing.

In each of these countries the government has cracked down on the press to prevent reporting of the violence by the security agencies.

Shamefully, the weapons and ammunition used by the police in Libya and Bahrain are supplied by the UK and the weapons and ammunition used by the security forces in Yemen are supplied by the US.

We call on Canadian lawyers, human rights groups and journalists to monitor the situation to save lives (because where the cameras are pointed, there is less gunfire), and to reach out to locals via social media if the press is banned.

We also call on Parliament to condemn the violence against pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.

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