Thousands of Bahraini protesters carrying national flags and signs demanding democracy gather on a four-lane highway just outside Manama on Friday. The protest was one of the largest opposition rallies in months. Image Credit: AP

Manama: Bahrain’s Royal Court on Friday evening said that the rallies at Al Fateh and in the Northern Governorate today were an indication of the freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution.

In a statement released shortly after the end of a massive demonstration held alongside the main highway in the north of Bahrain, the court said that King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa was keen on the right of Bahrainis to exercise their rights to express themselves peacefully and within the law in line with the reforms, the National Action Charter and the constitution. 

“This is a source of pride for Bahrain who can boast of their freedom of peaceful expression as an example of genuine democratic application without damaging public or private interests and within the confines of the laws governing assemblies and rallies endorsed by the parliament,” the statement said. “While the Royal Court extolls this civil way of expressing opinion, it calls on all people to adopt it on all occasions for the sake of the nation’s interests,” the statement said. 

A spokesman for the Information Affairs Authority said that the rally was a positive example of how “freedom of expression is guaranteed by Bahrain's Constitution and Legal system as long as it is peaceful and does not infringe upon the rights of others.”
Demonstrators acted for the most part in accordance with the laws, except for a few isolated incidents of vandalism and rock throwing, he said. 

The official said that the recent revelations about progressive talks by the media advisor of King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa were “an encouraging sign that common ground might be reached in order to promote further political reform.” 

Nabil Al Hamer said that a national multilateral dialogue engaging all components of Bahraini society would be held soon.  

“All parties have expressed the wish to put an end to the crisis”, he reportedly said.
Reports have emerged in Bahrain about a possible dialogue that would help put an end to the crisis that hit the country in February 2011 and has split the nation mainly along sectarian faults.