Amnesty International has expressed “grave concerns” over a campaign of suppression by Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah regime against Shia activists in the tiny Gulf kingdom.
“Over the past two years, the crackdown in Bahrain has seen the political opposition detained, intimidated and silenced,” Devin Kenney, the rights group's Bahrain researcher, said in a statement on Friday.
“We call on the authorities to stop this ongoing and escalating repression and to allow free expression of dissenting voices, including those who oppose the monarchy.
“Bahrain's international partners and allies cannot remain silent, and must use their influence to pressure the Bahraini authorities to adhere to the international standards they have committed to,” Kenney said.
The remarks came a day ahead of parliamentary elections in Bahrain. 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.