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Gulf group urges release of detainees

It also called for halting “political trials” of rights activists

Gulf News

Kuwait City: A Gulf civil society organisation on Sunday called on Gulf states to free all political prisoners and stop the security crackdown on those wanting democratic reforms.

The call came in a communique issued by the Gulf Forum for Civil Societies (GFCS) following its two-day general conference held in Beirut on December 14 and 15.

The group called for the “release of all political detainees, prisoners of conscience, those defending human rights and civil society activists and to allow them to operate freely and peacefully.”

The group, comprising dozens of liberal political and rights activists, writers and thinkers also called for halting “political trials” of rights activists in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

The GFCS also urged GCC states to free media from the control of the state and to offer the people the right to free assembly and gatherings.

The group called for an end to the policy of selective naturalisation to manipulate the demographic composition, especially in Bahrain, and to stop using withdrawals of citizenship as a means to punish opponents.