Politics, Middle East

Bahraini FM summons Iraqi ambassador over criticisms

Iraqi officials slammed Bahrain’s execution on Sunday of three men convicted of killing policemen two years ago

Bahraini FM summons Iraqi ambassador over criticisms

By Ahmed al-Masri

MANAMA, Bahrain

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summoned Iraq’s ambassador to Manama this week to convey Bahrain’s "resentment" after two Iraqi officials -- including a vice-president -- criticized the execution on Sunday of three men by the Bahraini authorities.

In a Monday statement, the ministry voiced its "categorical rejection" of earlier statements by Iraqi Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki and an Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman in which the two men roundly condemned Sunday’s executions.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain rejects any interference in its independent judiciary and demands an immediate halt to such remarks," the ministry said.

It went on to assert that al-Maliki’s statements constituted "unacceptable interference in the kingdom’s affairs" and a "violation of the UN, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League charters and the two countries’ fraternal relations".

On Sunday, the Bahraini authorities executed three men by firing squad who had been convicted earlier of killing three Bahraini policemen in 2014.

Shortly afterward, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal condemned the executions, which he described as "a clear violation of human rights".

Al-Maliki, for his part, described the executed Bahrainis as "political dissidents" and "democracy advocates", going on to accuse the Bahraini regime of "systematically killing" its opponents.

Responding to al-Maliki’s comments on Monday, Bahraini FM Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said the Iraqi vice-president "should be silent… and remember how well Bahrain had treated his country".

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